Canadian department store operator Hudson's Bay Company has promoted its COO, Donald Watros, to the newly-expanded role of president.

Watros, who took up the role of chief operating officer for Hudson's Bay in April 2009, will take up his new position from 1 February.

"Don Watros' role as president is integral to a new, robust leadership structure that will focus on managing and growing HBC along with its strong and expanding portfolio of brands," said CEO Richard Baker. "Don's significant retail experience combined with his track record of operational excellence were key in selecting him for this important role and will further our development as a premier North American fashion retailer."

Hudson's Bay last week reported widening net losses in its third-quarter. The losses were mainly due to the cost of buying US-based luxury retailer Saks for US$2.9bn, which closed last month.