Knighton replaced at last
Bookseller Ottakar's has appointed former MFI director Michael Hitchcock as finance director.

Hitchcock replaces previous incumbent Edward Knighton who unexpectedly left the business last year.

It has since emerged that Knighton was paid£100,000 upon his resignation. It has also come to light that under-budgeting last year led to unforeseen staffing costs of£600,000.

Hitchcock was commercial finance director, UK retail and developing markets at MFI. He left in September and has since completed three-months gardening leave. Ottakar's chairman Philip Dunne said: 'He was the outstanding candidate from our extensive selection process. He will bring strong financial disciplines to the company to help manage the next stage in Ottakar's growth and we very much look forward to working together.'

A note from City broker Baird said: 'We do not know Mr Hitchcock. All we can say is that MFI currently has a tarnished management reputation, including in the financial sphere.'

Dunne said Hitchcock will start immediately.