Online fashion retailer Boohoo has tapped rival Primark’s chief operating officer, John Lyttle, as its new CEO.

Lyttle, who has served in the role at Primark for almost eight years, will join the business in March 2019. His earlier career involved senior roles at Matalan and the Arcadia Group.

“We are thrilled to have secured a candidate of John’s calibre as our CEO. We have got to know John over a number of years and are convinced he has the necessary skills to complement what we already have and take the group on to its next stage of growth,” said Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, joint chief executives of Boohoo. “Both of us remain totally committed to the business and will ensure a measured and careful handover.”

In a statement today (17 September), Boohoo said the appointment is a “key constituent” of the group’s positioning for its next stage of growth and will be accompanied by a number of changes to the existing main board roles, all of which are designed to support the group through further international expansion.

As a result, Kamani will become group executive chairman, with his responsibilities evolving more towards the long-term strategic direction for the Boohoo group and away from the day-to-day running of the business.

Kane, meanwhile, will remain on the main board in an executive role and will assume the title of group co-founder and executive director. She will continue to lead the vision for the group’s creativity and multi-brand strategy focused around the positioning of its brands (Boohoo, Boohooman, PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal) and overseeing the development of the product proposition.

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In addition, non-executive chairman Peter Williams will be stepping down from his role with effect from 15 March 2019.

The board intends to recruit a further independent non-executive director and will commence a search process for this role imminently.

“This is a hugely exciting time for the group as the fast fashion market continues to shift online and more and more customers across the globe are joining as customers of our brands,” say Kamani and Kane. “The group has experienced exceptional growth over the past few years, with turnover increasing 24-fold from GBP24.5m in 2011 to GBP579.8m for the year ended 28 February 2018, and we believe John is ideally placed to guide the group through the next stage of its growth.

“Our next priority for Boohoo is to ensure we have world-class infrastructure and technology in place and we believe John is the right person to lead that journey.”

Lyttle adds: “I am hugely excited to be joining the group at this key stage of its growth and capitalising on what is a global opportunity.”

Boohoo recently reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance on the back of strong growth in its first-quarter.