Canadian specialty retailer Holt Renfrew & Co. Ltd. has appointed Mark Derbyshire, former vice-president of human resources, president of the company.

Derbyshire will replace outgoing president and CEO Caryn Lerner, who will continue working with Holt Renfrew's parent organization, Wittington Fashion Retail Group, as an independent consultant.

"Mark has displayed tremendous leadership and business acumen over the six years he has been with our organization," said company chairman Galen Weston. "We are confident that he will continue to evolve and grow Holt Renfrew as an international brand and a continued fashion authority in Canada."

Derbyshire, 40, most recently worked as chief talent officer for Wittington Fashion Retail Group, which also owns Selfridges in the U.K. and Brown Thomas in Ireland, and vice-president of Wittington Investments Ltd. The company said that Derbyshire had "proven to be an authority on driving profitability through people."

Holt Renfrew currently operates stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

—Tim Yap