National Express names Helen Weir as new chairman


National Express names former M&S finance boss Helen Weir as new chairman amid search for new CFO

  • Weir will join the board in October and take over from Sir John Armitt in January
  • She is currently also a non-executive director at Greencore and Superdry
  • James Stamp, the group’s commercial director, made interim finance boss

New chairman: Helen Weir will take over from Sir John Armitt in January

Coach operator National Express has appointed the former finance boss of Marks & Spencer, Helen Weir, as its new chairman.

Weir will join the board in October and take over from outgoing chairman Sir John Armitt in January when he steps down after almost ten years in the role. 

The group also appointed James Stamp, the group’s commercial and strategy director, to interim chief financial officer after Chris Davies announced he would step down last month. 

Weir, who was finance director at M&S between 2015 and 2018, had a lengthy executive career as CFO of a number of listed companies.

In the past, she was also group finance director of John Lewis and chief executive of the retail bank at Lloyds Banking Group.

She is currently a non-executive director at food company Greencore and fashion retailer Superdry.

She also held such role at Just Eat, SABMiller, Royal Mail and Cineworld Group in the past.

Sir John Armitt said Weir was ideal for the role: ‘With a deep understanding of the customer and technology from her executive and non-executive experience and her extensive financial expertise, Helen is ideally positioned for the role.’

Chief executive Ignacio Garat said Weir’s appointment will help National Express pursue ‘growth opportunities’.

Weir said: ‘I am delighted to be joining National Express at such an important time for the business. The company has a clear strategy rooted in a purpose to encourage the important shift away from private vehicles into public transport.’

Meanwhile the group said it has started to look for a permanent chief financial officer and will consider both internal and external candidates.

National Express returned to profit in the first half of the year as passengers returned to travel.

In July, the transport company posted a £15.8million profit for the first half of 2022, against a £24.1million loss last year when many services were suspended after countries imposed tough nationwide lockdowns.

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