Savile Row menswear retailer Gieves & Hawkes is seeking a new chief executive after boss Steve Walton returned to Hong Kong because of family commitments.

Walton is thought to have already left his role and Gieves & Hawkes is close to announcing a replacement.

Walton has only been chief executive for 12 months after joining in April, when former chief executive Mark Henderson was appointed to deputy chairman.

Walton said: “When I arrived in the UK 12 months ago the board of Gieves & Hawkes was aware that my appointment as chief executive was temporary.

“A great amount of positive change has occurred during the past months and although I am disappointed to be departing, the timing has been dictated by a number of external factors. These include my family and UK tax and residency requirements.”

Walton will remain as a director of Gieves & Hawkes’ Hong Kong arm.

Separately, product director Will Forrester has been promoted to brand director with immediate effect. Forrester has been responsible for developing the Gieves & Hawkes brand over the past two years, including the development of product and supply chain management.

Gieves & Hawkes tipped further into the red over the year to December 28, 2008, as pre-tax losses widened from £4,000 to £1.3m.