Tan was previously chief executive of Malaysian department store and fashion group Matrojaya Berhad.
Analysts' reaction to the board change has been lukewarm. Numis's Iain McDonald noted that the resignation comes as Laura Ashley stores appear to be overstocked, with the retailer resorting to discounting early during the holiday period.
Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner called the top job at Laura Ashley a revolving door. He said: 'We worry about the fact that the company keeps importing CEOs with no experience of UK retailing, as well as the lack of independent non-executives on the board.'