M&S confirmed the appointment yesterday, four months after announcing the departure of Alan Stewart, who left to join Tesco in July.
Weir joined John Lewis in 2012 from Lloyd’s banking group, where she was group executive director of retail. She also held the position of group finance director at the bank from 2004-2008. Before this, she was group finance director at Kingfisher plc and finance director at B&Q. She began her career at Unilever and McKinsey & Co.
Weir will receive a basic annual salary of £590,000, M&S announced, in addition to benefits. She will also receive a one-off payment of £188,500 to compensate for the “differential in contractual pension” that she will forfeit by leaving John Lewis. M&S is also considering further payouts for the 2014/15 annual bonus that she will not receive.
John Lewis made it clear that Weir would not be leaving the partnership immediately, but would be expected to complete her notice period.
The partnership said in a statement, "Helen is expected to work her six-month notice period and her departure date will be announced in due course."
Mark Bolland, M&S chief executive, said, "We are delighted to be appointing Helen as CFO. She is extremely well qualified and brings a wealth of relevant financial, retail and consumer experience. We look forward to her joining the M&S team."
Weir is a CIMA fellow and was awarded a CBE for services to finance in 2008.