Her departure is part of a management shake-up that will see the number of executives on its board reduced from six to three ð leaving just three female FDs in the FTSE100. Reed, who has spent 20 years with the company, ð three as FD, is to stay on until February 2005 to help smooth the transition.
And then there three
Only three companies in the FTSE100 will have a woman at the head of their finance function, following the announcement of Alison Reed’s departure from Marks & Spencer this week.
Margaret Ewing at BAA, Helen Weir ð formerly of Kingfisher and now at LloydsTSB ð and Rona Fairhead of Pearson will be the only female financial figureheads left in top companies when Reed departs in February next year.
Reed becomes the second high profile female FD to depart her job in a year, after Shell chief financial officer Judy Boynton was forced to step down amid the controversy over oil reserves.
Reed has spent 20 years with M&S, and three years in the FD position. In an interview with our sister publication Financial Director last year, Reed said of her longevity at the company: ‘I love retail, and I don’t subscribe to the culture that says that you must move companies all the time to get experience.
If you look at all the great businessmen today ð guys like John Browne (BP) and John Bond (HSBC) ð they have all been with their businesses since year dot.’
The departure of Reed comes amidst a management shake-up, which will see the number of executives on the M&S board reduced from six to three.
Maurice Helfgott, and Laurel Powers-Freeling will also be leaving the company while Mark McKeon will also no longer serve on the board. Of these, only Reed’s position will be filled.
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