Ex-Fitness First CFO joins Ocado

GROCERY DELIVERY SERVICE Ocado has recruited Duncan Tatton-Brown as its chief financial officer.

Tatton-Brown joins the online supermarket from the gym chain Fitness First, which earlier this month entered into formal rescue deal that saw it walk away from 67 of its gyms.

He has previously been CFO at Kingfisher, B&Q, Virgin Entertainment and Principles. He is also currently a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee for Rentokil initial.

Ocado, which is the home delivery arm of Waitrose, has had an unhappy year so far, with previous CFO Andrew Bracey leaving to join recruitment consultancy Michael Page International.

That departure was marked with a hit to the online grocer’s share price against a pre-tax loss of £2.4m for the year ended November 2011. This represented a significant improvement on the £12.2m loss recorded the previous year. However, the company also posted an increase in sales of 16.6% last year, which it said was progress towards profitability.

Lord Grade, chairman of Ocado, said Tatton-Brown’s experience would prove “most valuable”:

“Our objective is to deliver long-term returns to shareholders and Duncan’s appointment as the chief financial officer reflects the need for Ocado to operate with continued financial discipline as we grow.”

Related reading