Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Smith & Nephew finance chief bags Burberry CFO role

MEDICAL technology group Smith & Nephew have announced the departure of CFO Julie Brown, with the former AstraZeneca finance chief set to join Burberry in early 2017.

Brown will join the FTSE 100 fashion business and the board in early 2017 at the latest and will have responsibility for finance, investor relations, IT, global business services and business transformation.

The appointment is one of a series of changes to the Burberry senior team and forms part of its business review that is targeting future growth opportunities in retail, product and digital enabled by changes to ways of working.

Christopher Bailey becomes president and chief creative officer overseeing all elements of brand and design, working in partnership with new CEO Marco Gobbetti, who takes responsibility all commercial, operational and financial elements of the business.

Current Burberry CFO Carol Fairweather will leave the business to pursue new opportunities.  Burberry says she will help to manage the transition following Julie’s arrival and will step down from the board by the end of January 2017 and leaving the company at the end of the financial year.

Brown qualified with KPMG before working at ICI and AstraZeneca, where she served as vice president group finance, VP corporate strategy and ultimately, as interim chief financial officer.

She has a proven track record of delivering multi-billion dollar cost saving and restructuring programmes in commercial, operations and R&D.  She is also a non-executive director and the audit committee chair of Roche Holding.

Commenting on her departure from Smith & Nephew, Brown said: “I am immensely proud of my time at Smith & Nephew and what we have achieved together. We have made significant progress with group optimisation and the finance transformation and delivered significant shareholder value.

“I look forward to joining the Board of Burberry and pursuing a new opportunity in my career,” Brown added.

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