Marks & Spencer has named Eoin Tonge, former finance boss at Greencore Group, as its new chief financial officer in its second executive appointment in under a week, as the high street giant ploughs on in its quest to return the business to a stable footing.
Tonge is said to have “in-depth knowledge of food as well as strategy and operations”.
Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S says: “He is another addition to the very strong management team we are building to transform M&S.”
Tonge will join the group in June with interim chief financial officer, David Surdeau, remaining with the business to support Tonge as he transitions into his new role.
The appointment follows that of Katie Bickerstaffe as chief strategy and transformation director last week.
M&S has struggled in recent months to grow sales in its clothing and home division and Rowe has been vocal about needing to move faster to address “long-standing issues” in its clothing supply chain around the availability and flow of product.
In its recent third-quarter update, clothing and home sales fell 3.7% to GBP1.06bn (US$1.38bn) and 1.7% on a like-for-like basis.
The company has been trying to reinvent itself for more than a decade, with the current five-year “restoring the basics” turnaround plan seeing more than 100 store closures by 2022, and a focus on better planning and stock visibility, removing outdated product lines, improving logistics, and upgrading its online visibility.
Clive Black, analyst at Shore Capital, called Tonge’s appointment a “welcome announcement”.
“Mr Tonge has a lot of valuable business experience in our view, having held a number of key roles at Greencore; trading, operations, strategy and finance. As such, we believe that he will be a valuable addition to the M&S senior team.”