Online retail business The Hut Group has appointed outgoing Morrisons group finance director Richard Pennycook as its chairman as it prepares to float on the Stock Exchange.

Pennycook, who is currently non-executive independent director of the fast-growing etail group which is understood to be plotting a float later this year, will take the position on April 1 when current chairman former Matalan boss Angus Monro stands down.

The Hut Group chief executive Matthew Moulding said: “Angus has guided us through a period of transformational growth, broadening the group’s expertise to create best-in-class product offerings in high-value, repeat purchase consumer segments, all underpinned by our proprietary data and technology platform.”

Monro, who will remain at the retailer as a non-executive director, said: “This is an exceptional company with exceptional prospects.”

He said The Hut Group would benefit from Pennycook’s “extensive public and private company retail experience”.

Pennycook added: “I am excited by the prospect of leading the business through the next phase of significant growth.”

Pennycook is due to leave Morrisons in June. During his time at the grocer he led its acquisition of Kiddicare and its investment in US retailer Fresh Direct.