Currently managing director of Dan Murphy’s – Australia’s leading beer, wine and spirits retailer – he will be joining M&S in a planned succession to Stuart Machin, now M&S chief executive.
Mr Freudmann was born in Copthorne Hospital in Shrewsbury in 1977 and grew up on Oakfield Road in Copthorne.
He attended the Priory School between 1989 and 1994 and Shrewsbury Sixth Form Colleague between 1994 and 1996, before heading off to study at Oxford University.
Mr 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 November 1 and will sit on the executive committee.
Mr 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.”
CEO Mr Machin added: “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.”