Marks & Spencer FD Ian Dyson didn’t make the glittering
case for his promotion to chief executive he might have hoped to at the
retailer’s investor day (which seemed to be a beauty parade for contenders to
Sir Stuart’s throne) on 13 October. The Financial Times said investors
were ‘unimpressed’ by the jaunt, while The Guardian’s Julie Finch said
Dyson looked “very nervous”.
Leading a Q&A with M&S’s food, IT and logistics chiefs, Finch said
Dyson looked “uncomfortable in a wandering role”. He didn’t fare well fielding
analyst questions either, batting queries such as how he planned to save £150m a
year on supply chain and £100m from overhauling IT, to his compadres. “Is your
cost base going to higher or lower by 2013?” asked one analyst. “Not a question
I can answer,” said Dyson.
“I haven’t got a crystal ball.” Why will it take you five years to overhaul
your systems and IT, instead of three or four years, asked another. “Slightly
splitting hairs there,” he said, before admitting: “We probably could strive to
do some of this faster.”