Rose Replaces Grade As Ocado Chairman
Sir Stuart Rose is to stage a dramatic stock market comeback after he was appointed today as the new chairman of Ocado, the online grocer.
I exclusively revealed that Ocado would announce Sir Stuart's appointment as the successor to Lord Grade, who was stepping down after seven years at the helm.
A statement confirmed the move shortly after it was revealed on Sky News.
Sir Stuart's arrival at Ocado represents his most prominent appointment since he stepped down as chairman of Marks & Spencer at the end of 2010.
His recruitment is a coup for the online retailer, which has yet to record an annual profit since launching a decade ago. Ocado floated on the stock market three years ago, since when its share price has fallen sharply.
Ironically, M&S was the catalyst for an increase in Ocado's share price on Monday with traders betting on rumours that the online grocer could be a takeover target for its high street counterpart.
Ocado, which is lauded for its customer service, is having to fight increasingly intense competition from the online operations of the big supermarket chains, including Tesco and J Sainsbury.
Since leaving M&S, Sir Stuart has taken on a number of part-time roles, including acting as an adviser to Bridgepoint, the private equity firm, and as a non-executive director of Woolworths Holdings, the South African retailer.
The former M&S boss, who was parachuted into the high street chain in 2004 to fend off a takeover bid from Sir Philip Green, had a fractious relationship with the company's shareholders after becoming executive chairman in 2008.
Sir Stuart is expected to take over as Ocado chairman after the company's annual meeting in May.
Ocado declined to comment before the official announcemet while Sir Stuart couldn't be reached for comment.