Sir Stuart saves the day Lord Myners announced his interim period of Chairman

Sir stuart saves the day lord myners announced his

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Sir Stuart saves the day Lord Myners announced his interim period of Chairman- ship would end in June 2006 and in this way he assured shareholders that due space would be awarded to the new team of Rose and incumbent Chairman Lord Burns to lead Marks and Spencer plc forward and away from the turbu- lence of 2004. The appointment of Stuart Rose was seen as inspired and a real coup for the Marks and Spencer plc board. Rose, who had sold the Arcadia group to Philip Green and netted £25 million for himself in the process, was seen as a positive appointment by investors. His past experiences at Burtons Menswear, Evans & Principles (womenswear), Argos, Booker Cash and Carry and Arcadia characterised him as an experienced shopkeeper who could revitalise fatigued retailers and had a record of delivering shareholder value. During the period when the Rose/Myners team fought off the Philip Green takeover bid, Rose was careful to pro- ject his understanding of the need for major change to city investors: We live in a tough, commercial world . . . The business definitely suffered a little from the A-word, arrogance, in the mid to late-90s. It looked out the window and found the world had passed it by. ii However, he simultaneously followed a strategy of underpromising and overdelivering in terms of expectation setting. Specifically he repeatedly informed investors and commentators that he did not expect to see results from his 11-point strategic plan until well after spring 2005 when the first of his initiatives would be hitting the stores. He made a particular issue of delaying his use of the ‘R word’: recovery. Although tempted into it as results began to improve, he refused to express confidence and continued to project humility and his appreciation of the task ahead. Investors said they would give him until December 2005 for recovery. His 11-point strategic plan to achieve turnaround revolved around five core values designed to win back Marks and Spencer plc’s core customers: quality, value, service, innovation and trust. a71 Shelving Per Una Due (designed for teens and twenties) as it was not targeted at natural Marks & Spencer customers a71 Acquiring Per Una from Davies for £125 million (with Davies remaining as CEO for two years to retain brand direction) a71 Cancelling more than 500 food products a71 Developing supply chain and sourcing efficiency, to reduce the stock overhang a71 Stopping waste and unnecessary administration costs a71 Improving core services a71 Returning £2.3 billion to shareholders (through buying back 635 million shares) a71 Moving to out-of-town retail centres a71 Restructuring and redundancy a71 Changing employee mentality a71 Closing or upgrading stores, which he likened to hospitals. Popular with employees, Rose’s initiatives very soon earned the very telling internal commentary the ‘the grown-ups are back in charge’. iii So for some of the employ- ees at least, the old Marks and Spencer plc was back.

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