WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Climbing Rose creates a stink

Sir Stuart Rose's elevation from chief executive to executive chairman of M&S has invoked anger from investors.

In a rare public rebuke, Legal & General, the retailer's second-largest shareholder, described the move as 'unwelcome' (The Daily Telegraph, 11 March).

graphDespite claiming to have consulted its main shareholders, Nils Pratley said 'M&S is living in La-La land' if it expects applause for flouting corporate governance guidelines.

One big (unnamed) investor predicted there would be a 'backlash' (FT, 11 March).

The move temporarily solves the problem that there is no 'obvious successor' to the man credited with saving M&S from the doldrums and gives Rose 'space to groom the next generation of leaders' (The Times, 11 March).

Dismal Christmas figures and a gloomy economic outlook convinced Rose that 'this time next year we will be in deep doobie-land' (FT, 11 March).

Would he pull off a second miracle by remaining until 2011? 'He must be a masochist to be staying on,' said one analyst (The Times, 11 March).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.


In short they didn't say much! This news, unlike the papers, did not capture the imagination of the leading bloggers. Searching the blogosphere for comments around "M&S" and "Rose" resulted mostly in posts concerning M&S's three tier chocolate rose coke (which by all accounts is very good, indeed).

However, M&S' other ‘favourite' Rose, Sir Stuart, didn't receive quite the same enthusiasm - apart from nudist bloggers who seem to hail him as some sort of hero for referring to his nude exploits in a joke letter to a customer and claiming to have been a chairman of a local naturists association.

The rare posts that actually related to his new role simply stated he had a new role but no-one commented on whether this was actually good or bad news. Either they didn't know or, simply, didn't care.

Most were keener to comment about M&S getting people to pay for plastic bags or about Jeremy Paxman's private email to Rose complaining that M&S' men's underwear doesn't provide enough support.

The ‘Gussetgate' email as it's sometimes referred to resulted in a lunch appointment between the two but bloggers had despairingly little information about what was discussed, or, even if it went ahead. Now that is something that would capture bloggers' imagination.

Analysis conducted by Nielsen Online from a source of over 70 million blogs www.nielsen-online.com

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