Nick Samuel, former chief executive of womenswear retailer Hobbs and former finance director of womenswear chain Karen Millen has died.

Samuel, who was at the helm of Hobbs between 2002 and 2008, remained on the board until last year. He also sat on the board of a number of retailers including etailer Adili, which now trades as Ascension, and cashmere specialist N.Peal as a non-executive director. He was also a non-executive director at sportswear retailer Blacks. He was 58.

Hobbs chief executive Nicky Dulieu said: “Nick was the driving force behind taking Hobbs from a relatively small family-run business in 2002 to the international brand that it is today.

“He inspired many, not only through his passion for retail but also his more personal achievements, running many marathons in aid of the Retail Trust amongst other charities.

“All of us at Hobbs are devastated by the sad news of his passing, however we feel privileged that we had the pleasure of both knowing and working with Nick.

“Our thoughts are with his wife Helen and his family at this sad time.”

Samuel died from cancer and was diagnosed earlier this year.