UK's M&S taps Rightmove's Alison Dolan as finance chief

FILE PHOTO: M&S annual profit soars 58% as turnaround strategy delivers

(Reuters) -Marks & Spencer (M&S) said on Wednesday it has appointed Alison Dolan as its chief financial officer, days after the British retailer smashed profit forecasts and announced its first yearly dividend since 2019.

Dolan joins from real-estate portal Rightmove and will take over from interim CFO Jeremy Townsend, who will remain in the role until May 2025. The starting date for Dolan is to be decided in due course.

Shares in the 140-year old food and clothing group closed marginally higher at 302.8 pence per share after the announcement.

M&S had named Townsend as its interim CFO in November 2022, when it was grappling with pressures of turning around its business.

However, the retailer last week said it was in the strongest financial health since 1997.

M&S Chief Executive Stuart Machin said Dolan would "be a fantastic addition to the leadership team and with so much experience in fast paced, digitally led businesses, will help us in this next phase of transforming M&S".

Dolan, 54, previously held roles at News UK and Sky Plc prior to her current role as CFO of Rightmove. She is currently also a non-executive director at education group Pearson.

In a separate statement, Rightmove said that Dolan has a twelve-month notice period and a date for her departure is yet to be agreed as the company searches for a new CFO.

(Reporting by Anandita Mehrotra and Dhanush Vignesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)