// Tom Athron joins Fortnum & Mason as its new CEO on December 1
// He will move from Matchesfashion, where he was chief operating officer
// Tom Athron will replace Ewan Venters, who will exit Fortnum & Mason in January
Fortnum & Mason has announced the appointment of Tom Athron as its new chief executive.
Athron will join the luxury retailer on December 1, where a month-long handover process will take place before he replaces Ewan Venters.
Venters first announced his resignation from the top job in September and will exit Fortnum & Mason in January.
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Athron joins Fortnum & Mason from Matchesfashion, where he has served as chief operating officer since May 2018.
In that role, he was responsible for scaling the British fashion retailer globally, and leading Matchesfashion’s ecommerce, logistics, customer experience and studio teams.
Athron has also spent 12 years at the John Lewis Partnership, where he held a variety of roles, including group development director for the partnership, as well as John Lewis trading director and Waitrose chief financial officer.
Athron also founded JLP Ventures, the innovation unit set up by the John Lewis Partnership to identify and drive new growth opportunities and creative partnerships its operations.
“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,” Fortnum & Mason chair Kate Hobhouse said.
Athron said: “I am thrilled to be joining such a special business as Fortnum & Mason, which I have long admired for its innovation, extraordinary food and drink and its exceptional people.
“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 realizing its further potential and contributing to the next exciting phase in its long and illustrious history.”
Venters has been chief executive of Fortnum & Mason since 2012, and is leaving to take up the top job at art gallery Hauser & Wirth.
During his tenure at the luxury retailer, Venters oversaw consistent profit and sales growth while extending its footprint by driving its travel division and international expansion.
He also spearheaded an overhaul of the retailer’s ecommerce offering.