Luxury retailer Agent Provocateur has hired Chris Woodhouse, Debenhams’ finance director, as its new chairman.

Woodhouse, who takes up the post with immediate effect, is also chairman of Gondola Group, which operates restaurant chains including Pizza Express and Ask.

Woodhouse will continue to hold these roles as he takes up his position at Agent Provocateur.

Agent Provocateur said Woodhouse will bring strong skills to the retailer, including a “depth of UK and international experience”

Agent Provocateur chief executive Garry Hogarth said:  “We are delighted that Chris is joining Agent Provocateur at such an exciting time in the company’s development.

“He has an excellent reputation in the industry and his broad retail experience will be invaluable as we continue to grow our business, both in the UK and Internationally.”

Woodhouse said: “I am really excited to be joining Agent Provocateur as Chairman. The company has built an outstanding brand in the luxury retail market and has performed strongly throughout the recession. I look forward to working with Garry and the management team to help in ensuring the company continues to develop its platform for growth.”

Agent Provocateur recently  opened a flagship store on Madison Avenue, New York, as well as  on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

It said it has a “number of further International store openings” in the pipeline.