Chocolatier Thorntons has appointed Caffè Nero managing director Jonathan Hart as its new group chief executive.

Hart, who joins the business on January 4, has spent the last five years at coffee shop chain Caffè Nero. Before this he held senior positions at Abbey, Woolworths, Big W and ITM Communications.

He has also spent more than a decade with Dixons Group, where he was latterly group managing director of PC World International.

Hart replaces Mike Davies who quit the confectioner in May after continued tough trading conditions prompted another profit warning.

Thorntons Chairman John von Spreckelsen said: “Jonathan brings a wealth of relevant experience to Thorntons from the retail and consumer goods sectors.

“He has an impressive track record in successfully running a number of multi channel businesses, including concessions, and a proven track record in the development of retail format strategies, as well as new product development and launches.

“We are delighted that Jonathan has agreed to join Thorntons.”