Stuart Rose: Biography highlights
Knighted in 2008 for services to the retail industry, Stuart Rose has been a retail icon for more than two decades. Best known for his roles within Marks and Spencer, Rose has also worked with businesses as diverse as Burton Group, Argos and Booker Plc. Now working as Chairman of online retailer Ocado, he is in demand as a speaker, a role in which he shares his experiences and insights with clients from all sectors.
Full biography of Stuart Rose
Stuart Rose’s background
One of the most prominent figures in UK retail, Stuart Rose was formerly Chairman and Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer and is now Chairman of Ocado.
During his seven years at the helm of Marks and Spencer, Sir Stuart Rose helped to revive the once struggling retailer. Using his business acumen, vision, enthusiasm and determination, he was able to win the respect of his rivals and the support of not only his colleagues but of the general public. His leadership truly transformed Marks and Spencer’s fortunes; once a mainstay of the British high street known for product quality, the brand had been in decline. Rose quickly established what customers wanted and then made it happen. He created a company ahead of the competition in terms of environmental sustainability and ethical practices, introduced new product lines and brought a new sense of dynamism and energy to the brand, pleasing existing customers and winning new ones in the process. Since leaving M&S in 2011, he has worked similar magic for other businesses and is currently an independent non-executive director and chairman designate of the online retailer Ocado, a non-executive chairman of Dressipi.com and non-executive director of Woolworths Holdings Ltd.
Rose began his retail career as a management trainee at M&S in 1972, gradually gaining experience and rising through the ranks. After almost twenty years with the company, he moved on to become the Chief Executive of Burton Group. His success within the role saw him move on to senior positions at other retailers, including Argos, Booker Plc (which merged with Iceland to become Big Food Group under his leadership) and Arcadia Group. He returned to M&S in 2004.
Awards, Accolades, Achievements, Honours
- Appointed a Conservative Life Peer in the House of Lords (2014)
- Knighthood New Year Honours (2008)
- Chairman – Business in the Community (2008)
- Business Leader of the Year – World Leadership Forum (2006)
- Chairman of Britain Stronger in Europe Campaign (2015)
Current/Past Roles and Positions
- Former Executive Chairman (2008 – 2011) and Chief Executive (2004 – 2010) of Marks and Spencer
- Retail leadership guru
- Current Non-Executive Director of Ocado, Dressipi.com and Woolworths Holdings Ltd
- Advisor to the Government on turning around failing NHS hospitals and improving the culture within the organization.
- Campaign Chair of the Britain Stronger In Europe Campaign
Rose transmits the energy which he used to transform several UK retail giants to eager audiences as his talks, recounting experiences and offering invaluable advice.