Stuart Rose to join Ocado
Stuart Rose, the former chief executive of Marks and Spencer, is set to join the unprofitable UK online grocer Ocado as its new chairman.
Rose, 63, will join as a non-executive director on March 11th and will succeed Michael Grade as chairman after the annual shareholder meeting on May 10th. Rose stepped down as chief executive officer of Marks and Spencer in 2011 after seven years at the helm of the UK's biggest clothing retailer. He has since taken on posts at companies including private-equity firm Bridgepoint Capital Ltd. and South African retailer Woolworths Holdings.
Ocado, which has not reported an annual profit since listing on the stock exchange, ended doubts over its immediate survival in November by prolonging a £100 million debt facility. The company reported sales growth of 14 per cent in the six weeks ended January 6th.
“Sir Stuart is nothing but a man who enjoys a challenge and he is someone we hold in high regard,” Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital in London, said in a note. “He has the potential to bring much-needed esteem to Ocado, a company that had a tarnished flotation to our minds and has a fundamentally flawed business model in our view”.
(Additional reporting Bloomberg)