MARKS and Spencer's chief finance officer Alan Stewart has quit to take up the same role at Tesco.
The move is another blow for M&S's under pressure chief executive Marc Bolland who faced criticism from shareholders this week at the company's annual general meeting for yet another quarter of underperforming sales.
However, the hiring of Mr Stewart will be a boost to Tesco boss Philip Clarke, who has also been the subject of ire from shareholders over whether his strategy to improve the supermarket giant is working.
Tesco has been looking for a new finance chief since Laurie McIlwee announced his intention to quit in April.
Sources suggested Mr Stewart had already left Marks and Spencer but was unlikely to start work at Tesco before the end of this year due to a six-month notice period and a non-compete clause in his contract. His annual salary will increase from pound(s)579,000 pounds to pound(s)750,000 while he will also be granted replacement share awards from his new employer worth pound(s)1.74 million in lieu of deferred awards from M&S that he will forfeit when he joins Tesco.
Prior to joining M&S in 2010 Mr Stewart had been finance director of WH Smith.