In Brief

Fresh blow for Marks & Spencer as finance boss quits

Humphrey Singer had been in the job for little more than a year

The chief financial officer of Marks & Spencer is stepping down after little more than a year in the job.

The high street chain has announced that Humphrey Singer, who joined from Dixons Carphone in 2018, will work with the chief executive, Steve Rowe, on the succession process.

The news comes just weeks after it was announced the firm would drop out of the FTSE 100 for the first time, The Guardian says. The relegation, which kicks in today, came because of declining market valuation as the once imperious Marks & Spencer struggles to compete on clothing with rivals such as H&M and Zara.

This is the company's second high-profile exit within a matter of months. Jill McDonald, the clothing, home and beauty managing director, was sacked in July, after which Rowe wrestled took control of the division.

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.”

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The Financial Times describes his departure is a “blow” for the retailer.

Announcing his decision, 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.”

Singer's tenure has been “brief by the standards of finance chiefs at major listed companies”, Sky News says, and his departure follows “persistent rumours that he was unhappy in the role”.

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