Ian Dyson, group finance and operations director of Marks & Spencer, has left the company to become group chief executive of pubs group Punch.
Mr Dyson announced his departure yesterday, a day after Marc Bolland took over as chief executive. It is understood that Mr Bolland was not aware of Mr Dyson's plans to leave.
M&S chairman Stuart Rose said: "We understand Ian's decision and recognise the opportunity ahead of him. On behalf of the M&S board I would like to thank Ian for the significant contribution he has made to M&S over the last five years and wish him well with his future career. His leadership of the team driving Project 2020, our investment infrastructure, will stand the business in good stead in years to come."
Mr Dyson joined M&S as group finance director in June 2005 and was appointed to his current role in March 2006. Prior to this he was finance director of The Rank Group and group financial controller of Hilton Group plc before that.
He said: "Although the timing of an announcement of this sort is never perfect, my background in leisure makes Punch a very exciting opportunity and one I couldn't ignore. It also makes great use of all of my leisure and retail experience and means being the ceo of a public company. M&S is a great business with a sound future and I wish all my colleagues every success."