Britain’s M&S names Dan Murphy’s MD as new food boss

Dan Murphy’s Managing Director Alex Freudmann has been announced as the new Managing Director of Food at British retailer M&S.

Dan Murphy’s parent company Endeavour Group revealed in May that Freudmann had resigned from his role as Dan Murphy’s Managing Director to return home to the United Kingdom.

Freudmann has an extensive track record of leading change in some of the world’s best food and drink retailers, including Tesco, Coles and Dan Murphy’s. He joined Dan Murphy’s, part of Endeavour Group, in January 2020 after a successful 10 years as part of the Coles transformation team, latterly as Director of Fresh Food. In his two-year tenure at Dan Murphy’s, he has led significant changes, including a substantial shift to digital and online. 

He will join M&S on 1 November, replacing Stuart Machin, who was promoted earlier this year to become M&S’s chief executive. Freudmann will sit on the Executive Committee. M&S is also confirming a change of responsibility for Machin, who will hand over his Food accountabilities to Freudmann upon his arrival.

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

Freudmann said: “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. 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.  

“Although much has been achieved, huge opportunities remain, and I share the Executive team’s belief in the long-term potential to double the size of the business. 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.” 

Last month, Endeavour Group Managing Director & CEO, Steve Donohue said Freudmann had played an integral role in the success of the business during his tenure.

“Since joining Dan Murphy’s, Alex has not only helped to successfully navigate the business through an incredibly disruptive two years during the COVID pandemic, he has been instrumental in driving the innovation and modernisation now synonymous with the Dan Murphy’s brand,” Donohue said.

“Under Alex’s leadership, the Dan Murphy’s team has regained its position as trend leader in the industry. Alex has supported the creation of new store formats, and together with the endeavourX team, he has overseen Dan Murphy’s digital platforms become the ‘front door’ for customers.

“I sincerely thank Alex for his tremendous contribution. While we are disappointed at losing someone of his calibre, we understand Alex’s desire to return to the United Kingdom to be closer to family, particularly given the significant challenges of working abroad over recent years.”

“It has been a privilege to lead an amazing team at Dan Murphy’s over the past two years and to have been a custodian of such a special brand,” Freudmann said.

“However, the time is now right for me to return home to the United Kingdom with my family, and to pursue other opportunities there. I believe I am leaving the Dan Murphy’s business in a position of strength and with an exciting future ahead.”

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Categories: Business