Wesfarmers’ current managing director of Wesfarmers Insurance Rob Scott will become finance director of Coles.

Wesfarmers’ managing director Richard Goyder said Scott has performed extremely well in significantly improving the operational performance of the Insurance division and establishing a strong platform for future earnings growth. He has done this against the backdrop of what was an extremely challenging period for the entire insurance industry.

“Rob has demonstrated exceptional financial skills and business leadership,” he said.

“That experience will enable him to make a significant contribution to continued performance improvement within the Coles businesses, and will bring further commercial capability to Ian McLeod’s leadership team.”

Scott will move to his new role at Coles in February. Scott’s replacement as head of Wesfarmers’ Insurance division, on an acting basis, will be Anthony Gianotti, currently finance director in that division, while a process is undertaken to choose a permanent replacement.

Goyder said the executive changes reflect the strength and depth of the management team across the Wesfarmers group.

The appointment follows the decision by outgoing Coles finance director Tony Buffin to accept a senior role with Travis Perkins, a top 50 listed company in the United Kingdom.