Matchesfashion has drafted in former John Lewis group development director Tom Athron.

Athron is joining the luxury fashion retailer as chief operating officer.

He has spent three years as the partnership’s development director and was seen as a front-runner to lead John Lewis after former boss Andy Street becoming the first ever mayor of the West Midlands.

Previous to that, he was chief financial officer at John Lewis stablemate and upmarket grocer Waitrose for six years; John Lewis buying director for electricals and home technology; and head of group financial strategy.

Matchesfashion, founded by Tom and Ruth Chapman 30 years ago, was recently acquired by private equity firm Apax. A sale price was not disclosed but an £800m figure was rumoured prior to the sale.

The Chapmans, who founded Matches off the back of a single boutique in Wimbledon, retained a minority stake. So too did venture capital backers Scottish Equity Partners and Highland Europe.