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Marks & Spencer exec steps down to join Primark owner

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Primark

Primark’s owner Associated British Foods (ABF) has announced that Eoin Tonge has been appointed as the company’s next finance director, succeeding John Bason who is retiring and stepping down from the board.

A start date is yet to be agreed on, however ABF said it will be no later than February 2023.

Tonge will be joining ABF from Marks & Spencer, where he is currently serving as chief financial officer and chief strategy officer of the retail group, a position he has held since May 2022.

On Tonge’s appointment, CEO of ABF, George Weston, said in a release that he was delighted to welcome him to the team, adding: “I am confident he will make a strong contribution to the senior management team and to the business.”

While Bason, who has been with ABF for more than 23 years, has agreed to stay on as finance director until April 2023, he will ultimately become chairman of ABF’s newly created Strategic Advisory Board, as well as senior advisor for Primark.

The new board will provide external expertise to Primark’s CEO Paul Marchant and the retailer’s leadership team as it continues to expand and develop the business.

Weston noted: “The environment in which Primark operates is becoming increasingly complex, presenting the business with substantial opportunities for growth. The new board will support Paul and his team as they examine these opportunities to develop and grow the business.”

ABF added that Primark’s financial and operational reporting relationship will remain the same.

Marks & Spencer