Outgoing Co-op boss Richard Pennycook has been named as the new chairman of department store business Fenwick.

Pennycook, who revealed last week that he was quitting the mutual after four years at the helm, will take up the position at the firm’s AGM on May 18.

He will be the first chairman of the department store chain from outside the Fenwick family.

Fenwick’s current chairman Mark Fenwick will step down when Pennycook joins but stay on as a senior advisor to the board, particularly in the areas of property, development and asset management.

Pennycook, who will officially leave the Co-op on March 1, said he was departing in order to build a portfolio career.

The former Morrisons finance boss has wasted no time in securing his first non-executive position since the decision was confirmed.

Pennycook has worked with a number of family or founder-led businesses besides Morrisons, including Laura Ashley, Richer Sounds and JD Wetherspoon.

He is also chairman of The Hut Group and Howdens Joinery.

Pennycook said: “I have always admired the company and I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Fenwick family and team to realise the future vision and growth plans for the business.”

Mark Fenwick added: “The business and the family welcome Richard’s appointment and we look forward to working closely with him to drive Fenwick’s ambitious growth plans.”

Fenwick currently operates 11 stores across the UK in locations including Bond Street and Brent Cross in London, Newcastle, Kingston and York.

However, the business announced in January that it plans to close its store in Leicester.