The announcement comes a week after it was confirmed the company had rejected two takeover proposals from US rival Destination Maternity. The news gave further momentum to its share price, which had fallen 72.5% between last July and May to 135.91p.
Mr Newton-Jones, who was appointed interim chief executive in March, replaces Simon Calver, who resigned in February after a poor Christmas trading period forced Mothercare to issue a profit warning in January.
Since May 20 the share price has risen to 270p, helped by the group’s full-year earnings surpassing expectations and news that it had secured more headroom on its debt facilities.
Mr Newton-Jones is due to unveil his plans at Mothercare’s annual meeting on July 17, when the company is also due to detail its recent trading performance. He said on Thursday that his priority would be to “put in place the building blocks to strengthen the UK performance”.
Alan Parker, chairman, said Mr Newton-Jones was appointed after a “rigorous recruitment process”. He added that the new chief executive had “made a substantial difference to the UK business already” and was looking forward to him taking its international business “from strength to strength”.
Mr Newton-Jones has a 30-year career in retail, including 18 years at Next and, most recently, 10 years as chief executive of Shop Direct Group, turning it into an internet and home shopping business. He is also a non-executive director of online fashion retailer boohoo.com.