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 widely praised for negotiating an increased price for the retailer.
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.
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