Marks & Spencer has named Alan Stewart as its new chief financial officer.

Stewart joins M&S in October from aircraft leasing company AWAS.

He replaces Ian Dyson, who announced in May that he was leaving the high street giant to become chief executive of pub operator Punch Taverns.

Stewart is a former finance director of WH Smith, was chief executive of Thomas Cook UK and spent a number of years as an investment banker with HSBC.

“M&S is one of the UK’s strongest retail brands," Stewart said. "I’m delighted to be joining the company and returning to the retail sector.”

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland added: “Alan has an impressive track record and will be joining us with extensive experience of retail and other highly competitive industries including travel and banking.

“We look forward to welcoming him to the M&S team.”

The appointment of Stewart draws a line under speculation that high-profile Morrisons finance chief Richard Pennycook might be lured to M&S to be reunited with former boss Bolland.

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