Fortnum & Mason appoints Tom Athron for top job

The former John Lewis Director takes up the role from Ewan Venters who announced his departure in September

Luxury department store chain Fortnum & Mason has appointed Tom Athron to take over from Ewan Venters as CEO.

He will join the Queen’s grocer on 1 December, with a month-long handover period expected to take place.

The former John Lewis Director moves into the business from London based designer retailer Matchesfashion, where he served as Chief Operating Officer for more than two years.

Throughout his 13-year career with the premium department store he latterly worked as Group Development Director in which time he founded the retailer’s innovation unit JLP Ventures in search for new growth.

He also served six years as Chief Financial Officer for its supermarket partner Waitrose.

“A versatile and highly experienced business leader, Tom has extensive leadership experience in digital and physical retail across food, luxury and designer fashion: he is a great fit with the multichannel business that Fortnum’s has become,” said Fortnum & Mason’s Chair, Kate Hobhouse.

Meanwhile, Athron described the retailer as a “special business”.

He said: “A traditional British business with a truly global outlook, a strong purpose and increasingly desired around the world.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with the Fortnum’s team on realising its further potential and contributing to the next exciting phase in its long and illustrious history.”

Venters announced his departure from the business in September after eight years in the role.

He leaves to take up a role with London-based art gallery Hauser & Wirth.

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