John Lewis's Athron is new Matchesfashion COO
Having left the department store chain this spring, he now joins the luxury multichannel fashion retailer at a crucial time in its history. His arrival comes just a few months after its founders sold a controlling stake in the company to Apax for a rumoured £800 million but also as competition in the luxury online retail space in which it is prominent heats up with Yoox Net A Porter expanding and Farfetch gearing up for a massive IPO.
Athron has plenty of experience at a high-level in a hugely successful business having spent 12 years at John Lewis in a number of different roles, the most recent of which was development director. He was previously chief financial officer at sister company Waitrose.
Industry insiders said he missed out on the top job at John Lewis last year with many observers having expected him to become managing director there, the role that went to Paula Nickolds.
Announcing his departure in October, John Lewis Chairman Charlie Mayfield said that "he now wishes to explore new opportunities outside the partnership.”
And Matchesfashion is certainly a huge opportunity. As COO, he will play a key role in driving growth at the company. His experience of multichannel operations will be crucial as the largely-online retailer continues to run its small number of physical stores and also to support its VIP customers via the physical store experience.
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