UPDATE: Tesco’s Marks & Spencer CFO swoop confirmed

Story updated 12.10pm, 10 July

THE MOVE by Marks & Spencer CFO Alan Stewart to Tesco has been confirmed.

Statements by the retail giants to the stock exchange before lunchtime have ratified the move, following earlier reports.

Tesco CEO Philip Clarke said Stewart has the right blend of “experience, leadership and values” to play a leading role in the transformation of the business.

“We have found all three in Alan. I am looking forward to working alongside him and I know Tesco will benefit from the breadth and depth of his experience,” Clarke added.

Clarke’s basic annual salary will be £750,000, with a £1.7m replacement share award to replace the deferred shares lost by moving from M&S.

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland now faces a new hurdle, while much will be expected of Stewart at Tesco, with the move coming as both retailers face up to market challenges.

M&S’ AGM earlier this week saw shareholder frustrations expressed at a continuing slowdown in sales, with Bolland admitting that work was still required in his turnaround programme.

Tesco, while still the biggest grocery retailer, has seen its market share eaten away, with budget stores proving popular during the austere years following the credit crisis and recession.

Laurie McIlwee resigned as Tesco CFO role in April, but will remain in the role until a successor is found.

Stewart served at aircraft leasing company AWAS for two years before joining M&S. He also held the finance reins at WH Smith and Thomas Cook, including a term as the latter’s UK chief executive. He is a non-executive at Diageo, and had previously worked with Games Workshop as a non-exec.

Tesco’s share price was up 1.75p in this morning’s trading, to 281.25p, while M&S’s share price was down 0.90p, to 417.10p.

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