McArthur's position as Harrods Group's ceo, overseeing the Knightsbridge department store as well as the real estate, aviation and airport terminal retail outlets, is a new one, and he will report to Harrods chairman Mohamed Al Fayed.
Al Fayed said Wednesday that he wanted McArthur to further the international expansion of the business and the Harrods brand name.
"We have the great fortune of having a well-established and proven executive team including the current managing director, Michael Ward," said Al Fayed. "James will bring a complementary set of strategic and leadership skills to our overall group of businesses that will help us to strengthen and propel the evolution of the organization and its subsidiaries."
A Harrods spokesman added that there were expansion plans in the works, aimed at improving synergies across the group's various businesses. He would not specify, however, what Harrods is currently working on.
He added that McArthur would not be building a team, but instead would be liaising with the various heads of each of the Harrods businesses.
McArthur spent 12 years at Gucci Group in a variety of roles, including group executive vice president, director of strategy and acquisitions and president and ceo of the Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent brands. He was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley.