Phase Eight has promoted Ben Barnett to the role of chief executive and has also appointed chief operating officer Lee Harlow as its managing director.

It is the first chief executive for Phase Eight in more than five years. Simon Rider left the retailer in 2008.

The fashion retailer said the new structure will enable the team to dedicate more time to international growth as well as developing its UK business.The promotions are effective from today.

Phase Eight aims to generate £30m of international sales in the current year driven by the retailer’s growth in its existing markets combined with store debuts in countries in Europe and the Far East. Phase Eight revealed it expects sales from overseas will exceed UK sales within the next three to five years.

Phase Eight currently generates EBITDA of £24m on sales of £140m.

The fashion retailer, which has 380 concessions and stores across the world, has accelerated its store openings in the past few years. It now operates in Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland , as well as Australia, Singapore and across the Middle East.

Phase Eight chairman Michael Rahamim said: “Phase Eight is a fantastic British fashion export success and after another year of record sales growth, it is clear that our high-calibre management separates us from our competitors.

“I’ve worked with Ben and Lee for a long time and have been very impressed by their vision for the business. I look forward to working with them to further develop the Phase Eight business and brand.”

Barnett joined Phase Eight in 2007 as non-executive director. He then took up the role of finance director in 2009 and commercial director in 2013.

Harlow has been at Phase Eight since 2000 when he started as merchandise director and was then promoted to chief operating officer in 2011. As managing director Harlow will lead the trading and operational development of Phase Eight stores, concessions and online.  

Phase Eight brand director Judith Bremner added: “Through our single-minded focus on the design and retail of unique, contemporary and high quality clothing and accessories, Phase Eight has steadily grown to become one of Britain’s most successful fashion exports.

“Our success lies in the strength, dedication and stability of our team, and I very much look forward to continuing my close working relationship with Ben and Lee.”