Jewellery giant Signet has appointed the president of watch brand Fossil as its new chief executive.

Mike Barnes will replace Terry Burman, who is retiring next January after ten years at the helm of the Anglo-American company, which owns H Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK. Barnes joins on December 1 and will be based in the US.

Barnes has been with Fossil for over 25 years in a variety of roles, and was part of the management team which took Fossil public in 1993. Signet cited his “diverse functional expertise” and “broad retail skill set” as reasons for appointing Barnes, and he has led Fossil’s diversification into new categories beyond watches.

“Mike is a seasoned and accomplished manager who with his strategic and attentive outlook to operational details brings valuable experience to Signet,” said chairman Sir Malcolm Williamson.