Debenhams managing director Angela Spindler will leave the company as the department store group revamps its management team to fight the economic downturn.
Spindler, who will depart on November 30, leaves Debenhams less than a year after joining from supermarket brand George at Asda, where she was global managing director.
Chief operating officer Michael Sharp has been appointed deputy chief executive, adding responsibility for marketing and online. He will still report to chief executive Rob Templeman.
David Worby, head of Debenhams Direct, the firm’s online arm, will report to Sharp. Marketing director Alison Jones will report to Templeman until the new year, from when she will report to Sharp.
Suzanne Harlow, trading director for womenswear, lingerie, women’s accessories and health and beauty, will join the board as group trading director. She will be responsible for buying and merchandising.
A spokeswoman said there were no immediate plans to appoint divisional trading directors for Harlow’s categories, as she would continue to have responsibilities across her previous trading divisions.
Harlow’s appointment means that menswear trading director Adam Creasey and kidswear trading director Susie Calvert will now report to Harlow from January next year.
Buying and merchandising teams for each division are unchanged and will continue to report to their respective trading directors.
A spokeswoman said: “In this climate we need to have a smaller, more compact management structure.”
Debenhams opened a new flagship store at Westfield London shopping centre in White City last week which features buzzers in fitting rooms, digital signage and Wi-Fi.