Sir Stuart Hampson, the former chairman of John Lewis Partnership, is to become chairman of Regent Street owner the Crown Estate.

Hampson will take up the role for a four-year term on January 1 next year, succeeding Ian Grant.

Grant said: “As former chairman of John Lewis he had a huge impact, both as a moderniser and in developing its reputation as an outstanding business operating to the highest standards and values.

“I believe Sir Stuart will sustain the key principles of commercialism, integrity and stewardship embodied by the Crown Estate and lead the organisation to further success.”

Like other property owners, the Crown Estate has been affected by the downturn. The value of its assets fell by 18 per cent to £6bn in its last financial year – the first time the estate had lost value since 1993.