Bob Stewart, finance director at Argos, has announced he is to take early retirement. The high-street catalogue company is currently defending itself against a hostile bid from Great Universal Stores. Although Stewart will stay until the takeover has been resolved the news will come as a blow. He received a salary of £200,000 last year and this goes up to £360,000 in April. On retirement he will receive a one-off payment of almost £200,000 and his pension will be £136,000 a year. Retail group Liberty, whose whole board was ousted last year, has appointed four directors including a new FD, Brian Muirhead. He joins from Whichford, a private motor dealership, where he was deputy managing director and finance director. Muirhead has held FD positions at Kingfisher Electrical and Superdrug. His appointment coincides with an announcement by Liberty that it is shelving the £39m plan to redevelop its flagship Regent Street store. Title-chasing Scottish football team Heart of Midlothian will be kicking off next season with a new finance director following the resignation of Sally Johnson. She is leaving the club on 30 June. Stewart Fraser is transferring from caterers Gardner Merchant/Wheatsheaf, where he is FD, to replace her. Christopher Lawrence joins the Eastern Counties Newspaper Group as FD. He has previous media experience with EMAP, but was most recently FD of Whessoe, a supplier to the oil and gas industry. We regret to report that Nick Carrington, chief financial officer at BSkyB, has died after a short illness. Carrington, aged 47, had been in the role since 1995; he had only just joined the board. Appointments can be faxed to Martin Coyle on (0171) 316 9250.