The transformation of Marks & Spencer (M&S) to a multi-channel retailer has been boosted by the appointment of a new chief financial officer.
Humphrey Singer, who has served as group finance director of the then newly created Dixons Carphone since 2014, will take over from Helen Weir at a date yet to be confirmed, after her departure on 31 March 2018.
Singer’s experience in playing an integral role in knitting the two businesses together from a strategic, financial and business process perspective will be extremely valuable as M&S goes through a major transformation exercise. He previously served as Dixons’ finance director from 2011, when the business consolidated its store portfolio and strengthened its online channel.
The clothes and food retailer has set out a five-year plan to cut costs and reduce reliance on its physical stores. It has accelerated plans to close stores while building its digital offering.
Yesterday the retailer said it will outsource the vast majority of its technology function to Tata Consultancy Services, hoping to deliver £30m in annual efficiencies by 2021/22.
Steve Rowe, M&S chief executive, said of Singer: “His experience as part of the team that led Dixons through its period of change and migration to multi-channel retailer is most relevant to what we are undertaking here.
“This, coupled with his retail expertise and eye for detail and cost, will be very important to our team dynamic as we move forward.”
Weir’s departure, announced last year, sees her set to take on a portfolio career. One of the UK’s most experienced and high-profile CFOs, she has held roles at Lloyds Banking Group, John Lewis Partnership and Kingfisher. She is currently a non-executive at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and a trustee of Marie Curie.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Helen for her significant contribution to M&S over the last three years and wish her all the very best for the future,” added Rowe.