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Matchesfashion COO Tom Athron becomes Fortnum & Mason CEO

Lauretta Roberts
03 November 2020

Matchesfashion COO Tom Athron is set to join historic London retailer Fortnum & Mason as CEO.

The 313-year-old retailer has said Athron will join next month after long-standing boss Ewan Venters announced he will leave Fortnum’s at the turn of the year to become CEO at art exhibition business Hauser & Wirth.

Athron has been COO of luxury fashion retailer Matchesfashion since May 2018 and prior to that spent 12 years at the John Lewis Partnership in a variety of roles, including group development director and CFO at Waitrose.

He said of his appointment to the royal grocer: “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 realising its further potential and contributing to the next exciting phase in its long and illustrious history.”

The appointment comes at a challenging period for all retailers, as England’s second coronavirus lockdown threatens to significantly disrupt sales ahead of the key Christmas trading period.

Fortnum's chairman Kate Hobhouse said: “The board and I are delighted that Tom has agreed to join Fortnum’s.

“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.

“Ours is a business that celebrates the very best, be it food, drink, joy-giving gifts or indeed experiences and I know that Tom will bring great energy and expertise to Fortnum & Mason.”

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