Stuart Rose

Stuart Alan Ransom Rose, Baron Rose of Monewden (born 17 March 1949) is a British businessman and life peer, who was the executive chairman of Marks & Spencer until 2010, remaining as chairman until early 2011. He was knighted in 2008 for his services to the retail industry[1] and created a Conservative life peer on 17 September 2014, taking the title Baron Rose of Monewden, of Monewden in the County of Suffolk.[2][3]

The Lord Rose of Monewden
Born (1949-03-17) 17 March 1949 (age 71)
Gosport, Hampshire, England
Years active1972–present
Political partyConservative
Jennifer Cook
(m. 1973; div. 2010)
Partner(s)Kate Reardon (until 2009)

In 2013, Rose became chair of online retailer Ocado.[4] He remained chairman until July 2020, when it was reported in the media that he would step down.[5] In October 2015, he was appointed chair of Britain Stronger in Europe, the official remain campaign in the 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.[6]

Early lifeEdit

Rose's grandparents were White Russian émigrés who fled to China after the 1917 revolution. Their son (later named Harry Ransom-Rose) was unofficially adopted by Nona Ransom - a Quaker from Bedford who served as English tutor to (among others) Empress Wanrong (the last Empress of China), and Shunryu Suzuki (the Japanese monk who later established the first Zen monastery outside East Asia).[7] It was Nona who transported Harry to safety in England as war loomed. The original family name was Bryantzeff, which Rose's father, ex-RAF and civil servant, changed.[8] His mother's side is English, Scottish and Greek.[9][10] The young family lived in a caravan in Warwickshire until Rose senior obtained a posting with the Imperial Civil Service in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Rose went to the Roman Catholic St Joseph's Convent School in Dar es Salaam until he was 11. When he was 13 years old his family returned to England and his parents sent him to Bootham School, an independent Quaker boarding school in York.[9] His first job was as an administration assistant at the BBC.[citation needed]


Rose first joined Marks & Spencer in 1972, as a management trainee. Rose remained with Marks & Spencer until 1989, when he joined the Burton Group as Chief Executive in 1994. The Burton Group demerged, forming the Arcadia and Debenhams businesses.

In 1997, he joined Argos as Chief Executive, where he was charged with defending the company against a takeover bid from the home shopping giant, Great Universal Stores (GUS). Ultimately, GUS did succeed in taking control of Argos, although Rose was praised for negotiating an increased price for the retailer.[11][12]

In a turbulent time in its history, Rose became the Chief Executive of Booker plc, where he oversaw the merger of the company with Iceland to form the Big Food Group.

Rose joined the Arcadia Group in 2000 as Chief Executive and left in 2002 following its acquisition. Rose turned around the fortunes of the Arcadia Group, and sold the group for over £800m, netting himself around £25m as part of the deal.

Rose received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2007.[13]

He was appointed to the position of Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer in May 2004 at the age of 56 and subsequently fought off takeover bids by Philip Green for the Group.[12][14] For this role he was paid an annual salary of £1,130,000.[15] In January 2007, he was named the "2006 Business Leader of the Year" by the World Leadership Forum for his efforts in restoring the fortunes of Marks & Spencer.[14] He was knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours and was appointed chairman of Business in the Community on 1 January 2008.

On 10 March 2008, it was reported that Rose was to become executive chairman of Marks & Spencer from 1 June 2008.[16] However, in the light of a recent profits warning, which sparked an unprecedented thirty per cent-plus plunge in the company's shares, this appointment caused some concern to many shareholders.[17] Nevertheless, they voted to re-appoint him at their annual meeting on 9 July 2008.

He stepped down as chief executive in May 2010, as executive chairman in July 2010, and as chairman in January 2011 following the appointment of Robert Swannell.[14][18]

On 19 January 2011, Rose was appointed as a non-executive director of Woolworths Holdings Ltd, a large South African retail group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.[19]

On 6 September 2012, Rose was appointed as non-executive chairman of, an online personalised fashion service that matches clothes and accessories to a shopper's shape, style and individual preferences.[20]

In 2013 Rose became an independent non-executive director and chairman of Ocado, the UK internet-only grocery retailer.[21]

He was recruited to advise the government on turning around failing hospitals, asked to examine how to improve the organisational culture in under-performing hospitals and ways to recruit talent from inside and outside the NHS in February 2014.[22]

In 2014, Rose was created a life peer and took a seat on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords.[23] In October 2015, Rose was appointed chair of Britain Stronger in Europe, the official remain campaign in the 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.[6] After stating to a select committee in March 2016 that wages would go up should Britain leave the European Union, his public role was allegedly limited for the rest of the campaign.[24] In 2019, Rose dismissed calls for a second referendum, stating that he 'believes in a democratic process', despite being a Remainer. [25]

On 14 July 2020, it was reported in the media that Lord Rose would step down from his role as chairman of Ocado.[26] This is likely the end of his long career as a public company figurehead, although he remains on the board of Time Out Group, the listed leisure company, and chairs a number of privately held businesses.

Personal lifeEdit

When Rose was 26 years old his mother committed suicide at the age of 49 by taking an overdose combined with alcohol. She had a history of depression.[9]

Rose lives in central London and Suffolk. He married Jennifer Cook in 1973 in St Marylebone; the couple have a son and daughter. After they separated, Rose lived with fashion writer Kate Reardon. After separating from Reardon in 2009, and stepping down from his positions at M&S, Rose and Jennifer divorced in 2010.[27]

On 16 July 2010, Rose was honoured by the University of Leeds, receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from the same university and venue from which his son graduated.[28]


  1. ^ "No. 58803". The London Gazette. 22 August 2008. p. 12885.
  2. ^ "Crown Office Notice No. 2199440". The Edinburgh Gazette. HMSO. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  3. ^ "No. 60995". The London Gazette. 23 September 2014. p. 18458.
  4. ^ Nazir, Sahar (16 May 2019). "Lord Rose: Death of the high street is "overblown"". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  5. ^ Miller, Robert. "Ocado hunts for chairman as Lord Rose steps down". Th Times. The Times. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b Wintour, Patrick (9 October 2015). "EU referendum: Stuart Rose will chair campaign to keep Britain in the union". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  7. ^ Letter from Harry Ransom-Rose to David Chadwick, February 1996
  8. ^ "Interview: Andrew Davidson: Full Marks for Stuart Rose". The Sunday Times. 15 January 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Desert Island Discs with Stuart Rose as participant". Desert Island Discs. 22 November 2009. BBC. Radio 4.
  10. ^ Elizabeth Day (31 May 2009). "As M&S turns 125, its boss Stuart Rose celebrates going green, girl power and chicken jalfrezi ready meals". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  11. ^ "GUS offered Argos chief chance to stay". The Independent. 6 May 1998. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b Treanor, Jill (21 July 2004). "GUS upbeat as sales rise at Argos". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Annual Review 2007 : Principal's Review". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  14. ^ a b c "Sir Stuart Rose ends six-year tenure at M&S". Retail Week. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Remuneration". Letter to shareholders. Marks & Spencer. 3 April 2008. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  16. ^ "List of Public Companies Worldwide, Letter". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  17. ^ Irish Times, 9 July 2008, p.19, Business Today
  18. ^ Fernandez, Joe (3 March 2010). "Stuart Rose may leave M&S "a bit earlier" than expected". Marketing Week. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Woolworths Names Former Marks & Spencer CEO As Director". The Wall Street Journal. 20 January 2011.
  20. ^ "Former Marks and Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose joins fashion recommendation site Dressipi in advisory role". The Next Web. 7 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Directorate Changes". Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  22. ^ "Sir Stuart Rose To Become Top Health Adviser". Sky News. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  23. ^ "Karren Brady and Sir Stuart Rose among new life peers". BBC News. 8 August 2014.
  24. ^ Mason, Rowena (14 June 2016). "Lord Stuart Rose 'misquoted' on post-Brexit wage increases". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  25. ^ Yorke, Harry (20 August 2019). "Get on with Brexit, says Stuart Rose, former chairman of Remain campaign". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  26. ^ Kleinman, Mark. "Ocado kicks off hunt for chair to bloom in Rose's place". Sky News. Sky News. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Sir Stuart Rose: The M&S exit interview". The Times. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2020. (subscription required)
  28. ^ "Sir Stuart Rose". University of Leeds. 16 July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
Party political offices
New office Chair of the Britain Stronger in Europe Campaign
Position abolished
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Goddard of Stockport
Baron Rose of Monewden
Followed by
The Lord Cooper of Windrush