New Tesco CFO to start job today

Former Marks and Spencer CFO Alan Stewart had been set to join Tesco in December but his appointment has been rushed forward

Alan Stewart is set to join the board of Tesco as chief financial officer as of today, months earlier than planned as the biggest British retailer handles the fallout from overstating its profit guidance.

Stewart is taking up the post more than two months ahead of his scheduled December 1st start date, the Cheshunt, England-based retailer said in a statement today. His former employer, Marks and Spencer, confirmed the departure, saying Stewart will receive no renumeration payments in lieu of notice.

Tesco yesterday said it had suspended four executives after discovering that profit estimates had been overstated by £250 million for the first half of the year.

The company’s previous finance chief, Laurie McIlwee, had announced his departure earlier this year.


Yesterday it was revealed that accounting mistakes in supplier contracts forced Tesco to suspend its UK boss along with three other senior executives and cut its profit outlook for the third time in two months, dealing another major blow to the world’s No. 3 retailer.

People familiar with the matter said the company had been overly ambitious when predicting the sales of products in its UK food business. This in turn reduced the cash rebates Tesco receives from suppliers who pay out when certain volumes are achieved. They also said Tesco had mis-reported in its accounts the costs of “waste”, which is out of date food, and “shrinkage”, which is stolen or unaccounted for product.