Sir Stuart Rose is set to become the FTSE 100's best-paid chairman as Marks & Spencer risks another flare-up with investors.

M&S yesterday appointed headhunters to find a successor to Sir Stuart as it revealed that he will have an annual salary of £875,000 for his last few months with the company as non-executive chairman after he hands the day-to-day running of the company to Marc Bolland.

The salary puts him at the top of the blue-chip income league, ahead of Sir Philip Hampton of Royal Bank of Scotland, who is paid £750,000, and David Reid of Tesco, whose pre-tax profits last year were four times those of M&S. His basic salary is £610,000, according to The Times.

Sir Stuart will become non- executive chairman at the M&S annual meeting on July 31 and leave the company next March, a few months ahead of the original deadline of July 2011.

M&S defended his salary as a reflection of his chairmanship being full-time. However, in its statement to the stock exchange when Mr Bolland was appointed, M&S said that Sir Stuart would work part-time. Sir David Michels, the deputy chairman, said: "What we are asking for from Stuart is full-time working. Most chairman, however hard they work, aren't full-time."

Read more
M&S confirms Rose departure date (18 March 2010)
Rose tells Bolland: M&S needs more brands (4 March 2010)
Michels rules out M&S chairmanship (3 March 2010)
M&S renews green commitments as Rose pay comes under fire (1 March 2010)