HIGH STREET retailer John Lewis has promoted company executive Loraine Woodhouse to acting group finance director as it prepares to fill the void left by the sudden departure of Helen Weir.
Last month, Marks & Spencer recruited Weir, one of the UK’s most high-profile finance chiefs, from its rival to replace its own CFO, Alan Stewart, who quit M&S in September to join Tesco.
Woodhouse joined the partnership in August 2013 after leaving her previous role as FD of fashion retailer Hobbs, where she was recognised in Financial Director’s Ones to Watch initiative in July 2011.
In 2004, Woodhouse joined Whitbread where she held the role of divisional CFO of Costa Coffee Liberty International Group. She was instrumental in improving the business’s sustainability credentials; an area sometimes ignored by finance but increasingly central to operations.
After Costa she moved to Capital Shopping Centres in 2008 as finance director, before arriving at Hobbs.
Weir will step down from the board on 1 December 2014 and commence gardening leave on 30 January 2015.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: “I am delighted that Loraine has agreed to join the board on an interim basis. Loraine has been leading our group finance team and is perfectly placed to lead a seamless transition.”
John Lewis divisional FD is Rachel Osborne, while Waitrose’s finances are managed by Tom Athron.