Blog: Were you nervous Sir Stuart?
Joe Ayling | 9 July 2008
There was an awful lot on the agenda at Marks and Spencer's AGM this afternoon, not least the controversial re-election of executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose.
The UK's top clothing chain has been dogged by a swathe of media reports leading up to the event - primarily sparked by disappointing Q2 results and a profit warning this time last week.
By 3.45pm GMT the meeting had been running for nearly two hours and a croaky under-pressure Rose seemed to be losing patience with a seemingly endless list of shareholder questions.
But then came the big event, with resolutions to be passed including Rose's own re-election as chairman, and you could cut the tension with a knife.
Speculation beforehand indicated that a third of institutional investors could vote against in the belief that having the CEO and executive chairman titles is against corporate governance.
Proposing Rose's re-election, deputy chairman Sir David Michels addressed shareholders with Sir Stuart's impressive CV, which includes being CEO of two of the UK's other top retailers - Arcadia Group and Argos - and turning M&S itself into a company with GBP1bn profits last year.
But with profit warnings, shares plummeting and takeover talk in the background, there was an uncomfortable feeling of "what if" in the air - or was that just me?
Sir David tried to rationalise the situation with a joke, asking "Are you nervous Stuart?", and soon enough his re-election was indicatively carried through.
After the week just gone, most people would be questioning whether they wanted such an intense annual corporate grilling for the next three years.
But as Sir Stuart joked during today's address, he's quite happy to "take the CEO hat off and put the chairman's hat on" from time to time.
By Joe Ayling, news editor.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- No US rush to Myanmar despite end to sanctions
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Where does VF supply chain sit in growth strategy?
- Driving ban intensifies Myanmar logistics hurdles
- Amazon wins on-demand apparel manufacturing patent
- Trump bolsters "buy American" with executive order
- Inditex, Adidas and Patagonia top ethical report
- Calls for supply chain transparency standard
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts