Marks and Spencer CFO Helen Weir leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than three years in the position
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — London, United Kingdom, November 08, 2017 — Helen Weir, finance chief of Marks and Spencer, leaves. As announced by Marks and Spencer Group plc in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, November 08, 2017, Helen A. Weir leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the British retailer after less than three years in the position.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Weir’s move comes 19 months after Steve Rowe took over as CEO of Marks and Spencer Group plc.

Furthermore, Weir’s move comes two months after Archie Norman took over as chairman of Marks and Spencer Group plc.

Helen Weir will continue as CFO “until a suitable successor has been found”, Marks and Spencer said.

Marks and Spencer will undertake a search for a successor.

“To pursue a plural career”

Weir’s departure from the post of CFO is explained as follows. Marks and Spencer said: “Helen Weir, Chief Finance Officer, has informed the Board of her desire to pursue a plural career.”

The phrase “to pursue a plural career” opens the door to speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Weir was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Marks and Spencer Group plc since May 2015.

Chaired by Archie Norman

Marks and Spencer Group plc is chaired by Archie Norman.

Archie Norman became Chairman in September 2017.

CEO: Steve Rowe

Steve Rowe serves as CEO of Marks and Spencer Group plc. Steve Rowe has been the Chief Executive Officer of Marks and Spencer Group plc since April 2, 2016.

In the position of CFO since 2015

Helen Weir joined Marks & Spencer as CFO on April 1, 2015.

She was previously Group Finance Director of the John Lewis Partnership and Kingfisher plc.

Weir also worked at Lloyds Banking Group between 2004 and 2011, firstly as Group Finance Director and subsequently as Group Executive Director – Retail.

She spent her early career at Unilever and McKinsey & Co.

Weir is an Independent Non-Executive Director at the RFU and a Trustee of Marie Curie.

She was a Non-Executive Director of SAB Miller between 2011 and 2016, and Royal Mail Holdings between 2006 and 2009.

Weir is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and was previously a member of the Accounting Standards Board.


As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step down with no successor available, it’s a sign that the move was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Helen Weir’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 46.2017 ($).