Marks & Spencer today appointed Eoin Tonge, currently the chief financial officer of food group Greencore, as its new finance chief.

Eoin Tonge will fill a void left by the departure of Humphrey Singer at the end of last year. 

Tonge joins at a difficult time for M&S, whose shares have fallen 35% over the last year. 

After more than a decade of failed re-inventions, the 136-year old clothing and food retailer set out on its latest transformation plan shortly after retail veteran Archie Norman became chairman in 2017 to work alongside chief executive Steve Rowe.

Mr Rowe has been with the firm for 30 years and became the boss in 2016. 

The plan suffered a setback last month when M&S reported a disappointing Christmas trading update, hammering its share price.

The UK retailer said Tonge would start in June, describing him as a "world-class" finance director. 

M&S said David Surdeau, currently interim CFO, would remain with the business to support Tonge as he moves into his new job. 

Tonge has been Greencore's CFO since 2016 and prior to that was managing director of its grocery business. Before joining Greencore he worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs. 

He will receive an annual salary of £600,000 and will be eligible to participate in M&S's annual bonus scheme and performance share plan. 

Last week the group said non-executive director Katie Bickerstaffe was shifting to an executive role as chief strategy and transformation director from April 27. 

But it is still to name a start date for Richard Price, its new clothing boss who was recruited from Tesco in November. 

Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney said that Mr Tonge has been a "dedicated, professional and loyal Greencore colleague".

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him on both a professional and personal level for the last 14 years and will miss him greatly," he added. 

Eoin Tonge said he had greatly enjoyed his 14 years in a variety of leadership roles at Greencore.

"I am delighted to be taking on a new and exciting challenge with Marks & Spencer, a key customer of Greencore's," he said. 

"I believe Greencore to be in great shape, with a clear, compelling strategy for future growth and a strong leadership team to deliver it," he added.