UK: Marks and Spencers man joins troubled Tesco early

Tesco takes on new finance boss early

Tesco takes on new finance boss early

Tesco’s new finance director is to begin work immediately after the troubled grocery chain struck a deal for his early release from Marks & Spencer.

Alan Stewart resigned from the department store retailer in July but the terms of departure meant he was not due to start at Tesco until December 1.

However, with Tesco in crisis following yesterday’s revelations of an accounting error which inflated profits by £250 million, the two parties have agreed a deal for Mr Stewart to join the supermarket’s board from today.

Tesco has been without a finance chief since Laurie McIlwee officially left the business earlier this month. The supermarket’s new chief executive, Dave Lewis, only started in the job at the beginning of September.

Mr Stewart began his career in investment banking with HSBC before joining Thomas Cook, where he was appointed UK chief executive in 2001. He also worked for WH Smith prior to his move to Marks & Spencer in 2010.

Tesco has suspended four executives in its UK business while it investigates the over-statement of profits. The inquiry will look into the way it treated rebates paid by suppliers and whether they were reported in the right time period.