Next group product director Christos Angelides is leaving to become president of US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch.
Angelides will step down from the board with immediate effect, though will continue to work at the business until September. It is not known who will replace him.
Angelides will join Abercrombie & Fitch as president of both the mainline and Abercrombie Kids in October, reporting into chief executive Mike Jeffries.
He will have overall responsibility for all product and consumer-facing activities. He will also be accountable for the financial performance of both collections.
Jeffries said: “His experience with all aspects of running a business made him the perfect candidate for this newly created role. Christos’s appointment is a critical step in our long-term strategy of being organised to win and we are excited to welcome him to the Abercrombie team.”
Angelides added: “I am honoured to join one of the most iconic apparel brands in the world. I look forward to working with Mike Jeffries and the rest of the A&F team at what is a very exciting time for the company.”
Angelides has been at Next for 28 years, having joined as a trainee menswear buyer in 1986. He moved to become general manager of its Hong Kong sourcing office in 1989 and was promoted to menswear product director in 1994, before becoming womenswear product designer in 1998.
He joined the board in 2000, taking on responsibility for all aspects of design, buying, quality and merchandising of Next products.
In a statement, Next said: “Christos has made a huge contribution to the group in his 28 years of service and the board wish him success in his future endeavours.”
Next will not appoint any new directors to the board as a result of his departure, noting it has four executive directors – chief executive Lord Wolfson, group operations director Michael Law, group sales and marketing director Jane Shields and outgoing finance director David Keens; four non-executive directors – Jonathan Dawson, Steve Barber, Francis Salway and Caroline Goodall, as well as independent chairman John Barton.
Keens is being replaced by brand finance director Amanda James when he retires next March after 28 years at the company.