UK retailer Marks and Spencer confirmed to just-style it will be sending a letter to shareholders detailing its promotion of CEO Stuart Rose to executive chairman, as some disgruntled stakeholders aired their opposition to the appointment.

A number of M&S' institutional shareholders, including Legal & General and Schroders, are thought to be unhappy about the executive change due to concerns over corporate governance guidelines.

However, an M&S spokesperson told just-style that it was compliant with such guidelines, and that the majority of shareholders it had polled were supporting the appointment.

When asked about the letter, the company spokesperson said: "Nothing has gone out yet, but it is something we've been planning to do all along."

M&S is keen to keep hold of its talisman Rose for a few more years as he has reversed the company's fortunes since becoming CEO in 2004 - spearheading a "Plan A" environmental project and now targeting ambitious international growth.

"We accept that it is an unusual move but think it is the right decision at the moment," the spokesperson continued.

Rose will embark on the new role on 1 June for a three-year tenure, before he retires in July 2011. The appointment, announced last month, is part of an executive overhaul that also sees current non-executive chairman Lord Burns stand down, and Ian Dyson become group finance and operations director.