Ian Dyson’s shock move from the finance director role at Marks & Spencer to the chief executive spot at Punch Taverns – just two days after new chief executive Mark Bolland joined the retailer – is a watershed moment for other FDs who want to move to the CEO role at another business, instead of waiting for a succession opportunity at their current business.
Mark Freebairn, head of CFO practice at headhunter Odgers Ray & Berndtson, said it was “a huge result for finance” that speaks volumes about the progression of the FD role.
Dyson will take a pay cut in his new role – and top of his to-do list at Punch will be to address its £3bn debt pile.
Yell pair turn the page
Also unexpected is the departure of CEO John Condron and CFO John Davis from troubled Yellow Pages publisher Yell. Condron will retire by May 2011 while CFO Davis has said he intends to step down as soon as a successor is in place.
Yell chairman Bob Wigley noted that Davis, CFO since 2000, had “chosen to leave Yell only now that it is clear the group has all the financial strength it needs to continue delivering strong profit and cash flows”.
The merger of Orange and T-Mobile has proven interesting for the latter’s CEO Richard Moat, who has been made CFO and deputy chief executive at the merged entity, Everything Everywhere. Starting at Orange in 1992 as a senior manager in its finance function, Moat later rose to become CEO at Orange Romania and has held the same role for its Thai and Danish businesses. Moat has the respect of the City having driven something of a turnaround at Orange in recent times.
Diageo’s Deidre Mahlan will succeed group CFO Nick Rose when he leaves the business in October. Mahlan was made deputy CFO last May having served as CFO for Diageo’s key North American business and previously, group head of tax and treasury. Her promotion sees her join two niche groups: the handful of female FTSE-100 CFOs, and one of the rare FTSE-100 finance heads who do not have an accountancy qualification.