Comptoir Group CEO Chaker Hanna and chair Richard Kleiner have stepped down from their roles with immediate effect.

It follows the calls from Comptoir’s founder and creative director Tony Kitous for the pair to resign.

Beatrice Lafon and Jean-Michel Orieux have been appointed to the board with immediate effect as independent non-executive chair and independent non-executive director, respectively.

The board intends to begin an immediate and independent search for a new CEO, through an executive search firm, the group said in a statement.

Both internal and external candidates will be considered. Kitous will not be standing for the role of CEO.

Orieux will become interim CEO until a new candidate is appointed.

The business has also appointed FinnCap Group as its nominated advisor and broker with immediate effect.

Writing to the board at the end of June, Kitous – holder of more than 58 million ordinary shares of one pence each, which represents 47.6% of the issued ordinary capital in the company – had said that in the event that neither resigned he would vote against the re-election of the chairman at the AGM on 30 June 2022.

However, Kleiner was re-elected as chairman despite the resolution to re-elect him not passing at the AGM.

Lafon has operated at CEO level for nearly 20 years and as a non-executive director for over five years. Previously a non-executive director of Pizza Express and SuperDry, she chairs a number of businesses in the UK, including Crosstown.

Orieux was formerly CEO of Ping Pong, where he formulated and implemented a turnaround and brand strategy to drive international expansion. He became CEO of Paul UK and USA in 2013 before joining the board in 2018. As CEO of the Argyll Club, he led the company through a review of its core proposition, strategy and performance.

Hanna commented: “I would like to thank our chairman, Richard Kleiner and the entire team at Comptoir for their dedication and commitment in building the company over the past 12.5 years with all the challenges that we had to face.

“I am leaving the business with current record performance in sales, profit and also record cash position. To this end I’m very grateful to each of our team to enable me to be leaving the business in such a state. I wish the company well.”

Lafon added: “I am excited to be joining Comptoir as we look to the future.

“Our employees are central to our success and I look forward to meeting our talented staff and ensuring we appoint a best-in-class CEO to lead this exciting next phase.”

Hanna will receive a cash termination/notice payment of approximately £720,000.