Finance jobs may go in M&S restructure.

Marks & Spencer has appointed a new finance director to help steer it out of trouble, but radical restructuring has put the jobs of some of her finance function colleagues under threat.

Chartered accountant Alison Reed, who has been with the retailer for 17 years, will replace current FD Robert Colvill in the summer.

‘She’ll be part of the team that will turn around the company,’ said a source at the retailer, which has been hit by falling sales and profits. ‘We are fairly well advanced, developing and communicating our strategy. She is and will be integral in implementing it.’

He added: ‘The number of head-office jobs affected are 350, of which 200 relate to international business.’

There are currently between 300 and 400 people working in the finance function in the UK.

The spokesman said he was ‘not at liberty to say’ whether there would be job losses among finance staff, although a spokeswoman last week said the finance function was likely to suffer ‘knock-on effects’.

These could come from the closure of the retailer’s catalogue business, likely to result in 700 UK job losses, and the closure of its continental stores, affecting 3,500 jobs.

The source added: ‘We are in a consultation process right now with everyone in all areas affected. The staff are putting forward ideas.’

Reed has worked for M&S for 17 years, both within and outside the finance function. The Touche Ross-trained accountant was selected for her wide commercial and financial background. Her most recent position was finance director of the M&S UK retail division.

Colvill, who was appointed in January 1993, will retire later this year. He was due to depart last year but was asked to stay on an extra year.

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