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Eoin Tonge leaves M&S joining Primark’s ABF as Finance Director

Marks & Spencer CFO Eoin Tonge is leaving the business to take up a new role as finance director at Associated British Foods owner of Primark.

Eoin Tonge
Figure: Eoin Tonge.

Tonge joined M&S from Greencore just over two years ago, will stay with the business through his notice period, which will include supporting it through its interim results in November.

Chairman Archie Norman said that, under Tonge’s financial leadership, M&S had restored the balance sheet and created a strong platform for the next phase. Also Eoin has made a great contribution to the transformation of M&S, bringing quality and rigour to the finance function and building a very strong team.

Besides that, Eoin has been extremely helpful in supporting the Board and seeing through our planned succession to Stuart Machin as CEO and Katie Bickerstaffe as co-CEO.

Earlier this year, Tonge was tipped to become the retailer’s CEO, alongside frontrunners Machin and Bickerstaffe, after Rowe announced his retirement.

In this regards, Tonge said, “Behind every great business there are, of course, great people and I’m incredibly proud of the outstanding team we’ve built. The M&S I leave behind is undoubtedly stronger and more resilient than the M&S I found.”

Basically, now his priority is to ensure a smooth handover to Stuart and Katie and the wider leadership with confidence that M&S will flourish, as they reposition the business for future growth.

According to the multinational food processing and retailing group, Tonge oversaw key strategic changes such as the divestment of its US operations, returning shareholder capital and simplifying the business to focus on its UK market will join ABF.

John will subsequently become chairman of a newly constituted strategic advisory board – in addition to becoming the senior advisor Primark.

Meanwhile, John has agreed to stay on as Finance Director until the end of April 2023 so as to ensure there’s a smooth transition.

The Primark strategic advisory board will help provide external expertise to Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark –as well as to the Primark leadership team – as the business continues its expansion and development.

The retailer generated £ 7.79 billion in 2019, and is known for kidswear, womenswear, menswear, homeware and footwear, amongst others.

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