Marks & Spencer executive chairman Stuart Rose has won a shareholder vote to reappoint him, despite 22% of investors not backing the move to combine the chief executive and chairman roles.
It has been thought that Rose faced a shareholder revolt over the move to merge the positions. The retailer says that 6% of investors voted against his reappointment and 16% abstained at its Annual General Meeting today (July 9).
M&S defended its decision saying it was “entirely convinced” Rose was right to hold both positions. The appointment will see Rose stay at the company until 2011. M&S deputy chairman David Michels told the AGM: “He unquestionably has the right set of skills to take Marks & Spencer forward and to complete the job he started.”
It was expected that one in four shareholders would either abstain or vote against the move. The decision to combine the role contravenes corporate-governance best practice, which recommends the role of chairman and chief executive are kept separate.
The AGM comes a week after the retailer issued a profits warning after revealing that food sales had dropped by 4.5% in the past three months and overall sales were down by 5.3%.