Jeweller Beaverbrooks has promoted Anna Blackburn to chief executive of the 65 store chain, its first boss outside of the Beaverbrook family.

Blackburn, who was head of retail, has been with the retailer for 15 years after joining straight after graduating from university.

She started as part of the sales team then moved into management. She was appointed head of office operations in 2008 and was promoted to head of retail last year.

Beaverbrooks chairman Mark Adlestone said: “Anna understands both our stores and our people. She has a real passion for delivering exceptional customer experiences. I am personally excited to see her undertake this new position and drive the business forward.”

Blackburn said: “I’ve been a part of Beaverbrooks for my entire career and believe whole heartedly in our business and our people. I’m thrilled to take the position of chief executive and want to build on the fantastic company we have, ultimately creating exceptional experiences for our customers.”