Children's apparel company The Gymboree Corporation has appointed Blair Lambert as its new chief operating officer, taking up the post on 18 January 2005.

Lambert, who has been on the board of directors since 2003, will be responsible for finance, real estate, store operations, distribution and information systems.

Lisa Harper, Gymboree's chairman and chief executive officer, said that Blair's expertise in retail and finance had so far been invaluable, and added: "As he assumes the role of COO, these skills, along with his solid operating and strong management background, will help increase momentum as we continue to grow our portfolio of brands."

Gymboree operates 652 stores throughout the USA and Canada and the online stores gymboree.com and janieandjack.com.