Marks & Spencer, which is outpacing its supermarket rivals on growth in the UK, has tapped a new leader to run its Food business: former Tesco executive Alex Freudmann.
Freudmann, who has been managing director of Australian wine and spirits firm Dan Murphy’s for the past two-plus years and has built a career in both the beverages and retail food sectors, will take over the Managing Director of Food spot vacated by current CEO Stuart Machin. Prior to that he spent 10 years with Coles as Director of Fresh Food.
The chance to be a difference-maker at a brand that has reinvented itself well during the COVID-19 pandemic appealed to him. He plans to start in the new role on 1 November and will be part of the executive committee.
“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,” Freudmann 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.”
Freudmann, who oversaw the shift to digital and online at Dan Murphy’s, led Tesco’s Telecoms business before becoming General Manager of Fresh Food for Coles and its Food2Go initiative.
“Alex will bring a great deal of experience and passion to our business,” Machin said. “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. He will be a great addition to our top team as we work together to deliver the next stage of our transformation.”
That strategic plan includes the potential for M&S to double the size of its business.
“Although much has been achieved, huge opportunities remain,” he said. “I am looking forward to coming back to the UK and working with a great team to accelerate the pace of change to build an even bigger, better, fresher Food business.”