Source: M&S

New M&S Food MD Alex Freudmann has an extensive background in food & drink retail

Marks & Spencer has named Alex Freudmann its new Food MD, following the promotion of Stuart Machin to CEO.

Freudmann, who is currently MD of Australian beer, wine and spirits retailer Dan Murphy’s, has an extensive track record in grocery retail.

The Brit was formerly fresh food director at Australian retail giant Coles, where he worked for over a decade helping to lead its transformation strategy.

Prior to that, he spent six years at Tesco in different roles, including a one-year stint as senior buying manager for the convenience arm.

“M&S Food is a unique and very special business with world-leading food values, and I’ve always had huge respect for the brand,” he said.

“I’ve watched how the business has been transformed over the past few years from afar. The team has done a great job of building a bigger, better food business through investing in trusted value and core categories while maintaining the outstanding quality and innovation the brand is famous for.”

He added there were still “huge opportunities” for growth for the retailer’s food business, and that he believed in “the long-term potential to double [its] size”.

Freudmann will take over as M&S Food MD on 1 November, hence completing the leadership team now operating under his predecessor Machin and co-CEO Katie Bickerstaffe.

Machin, who also spearheaded Coles’ transformation strategy as its COO between 2011 and 2013, will hand over his Food MD responsibilities to Freudmann upon his arrival.

This will allow him to fully focus on his new role as CEO after Steve Rowe last month passed on the baton to the triumvirate of Machin, Bickerstaffe (who leads the fashion business) and group CFO & chief strategy officer Eoin Tonge.

“Alex will bring a great deal of experience and passion to our business. He has worked in food retailing for nearly two decades and in all of his roles he’s been a change-maker, bringing intellect, pace and energy,” Machin said.

“He will be a great addition to our top team as we work together to deliver the next stage of our transformation.”