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VISIT augments top team with three key hires

Lauretta Roberts
14 May 2018

Luxury multichannel retailer has augmented its top team with three key new hires in the roles of chief operating officer, chief technology officer and commercial director.

Tom Athron has joined as chief operating officer from the John Lewis Partnership where he sat on the board as chief development officer. Lea Cranfield has joined as commercial director from Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP), where she oversaw the merchandising functions for and Mr And Kim Hartlev has joined as CTO from Sainsbury's.

All three new appointments will report to CEO Ulric Jerome who said: "With their wealth of experience Lea, Tom and Kim will join forces with our leadership team to deliver our mission, which is to be the most personal luxury shopping experience in the world."

"These appointments round off a year of strategic investments that will help us continue our incredible momentum," Jerome added. "We have just launched a new state-of-the-art 24,000 sq ft creative studio in East London; we are about to move to a new logistics centre, which will quadruple the size of our current facility, and we are looking forward to the opening of 5 Carlos Place, our totally new retail space and broadcasting hub in September of this year."

Athron will have responsibility for scaling the business globally leading the e-commerce, logistics, customer experience functions and studio team. His previous roles include trading director at John Lewis and finance director at Waitrose.

"I am thrilled to be joining at such an exciting time in its evolution and am looking forward to working with the team to help scale the business internationally while preserving the superb personal service our customers expect," he said.

Cranfield, who joins from YNAP, will lead the buying and merchandising teams, focusing on women's and men's commercial strategy, alongside in-house label RAEY. "I'm looking forward to driving the tremendous growth of whilst ensuring our buying teams protects the unique fashion point of view we are renowned for," she said.

Finally Hartlev, who prior to Sainsbury's held senior positions at BlackBerry, Movirtu, Myriad Group, Synchronica and MobileThink, will have responsibility for technology across the group including architecture, software, engineering, infrastructure, service operations and mobile apps.

"Joining is an exciting prospect as it's clear they put technology at the heart of the business and consistently innovate in ways often invisible to the customer," he said. "As the company grows I am excited to explore emerging technology opportunities that enhance our customer experience."

In the autumn of last year, a majority stake in, which was founded in Wimbledon Village by Tom and Ruth Chapman 25 years ago, was sold to private equity house Apax Partners for a reported £800m.

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