Marks & Spencer CFO resigns

Marks & Spencer’s chief financial officer, Humphrey Singer, is stepping down after little more than a year, weeks after it was announced the firm would drop out of the FTSE 100 for the first time.

Singer, who joined from electricals retailer Dixons Carphone in 2018, will work with the chief executive, Steve Rowe, on the succession process, the company said.

Singer said: “After 18 months of working with Steve to lead the transformation strategy and rebuild the finance function, I have decided that now is the right time to move on.”

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Singer’s departure date has not yet been decided and he will continue with his responsibilities until it is confirmed, the retailer said.

Rowe said: “Humphrey has been a huge asset to the business … I look forward to continuing to work with him as we search for his successor.”

Marks & Spencer has struggled to compete effectively on clothing with the likes of Zara and H&M, and will be relegated from the FTSE 100 index of leading shares from 23 September because of its declining market valuation.

Singer’s abrupt departure comes after Jill McDonald, the clothing, home and beauty managing director, was ousted in July, after which CEO Rowe took direct control of the division.

In its latest turnaround plan, M&S has been closing weaker stores, revamping ranges and investing in online sales.

Its boldest move yet was striking a £1.5bn joint venture with online grocer Ocado to give M&S a home delivery service for food.