New Look menswear director Andy King and business change director Kate Gibbins have left the business as part of wider management restructuring.
As New Look gears up for a sale, the retailer has set its sights on expanding internationally, opening bigger stores in the UK and developing an overarching corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan. Menswear has also been earmarked for its significant growth potential.
The company's new direction has prompted a series of hirings and promotions, including group planning director Janet Biggs moving to the role of CSR director. Mike Davis, formerly director at Bhs and Etam, has been drafted in to take on Biggs' former role.
The exit of both King and Gibbins was understood to be amicable.
Managing director of buying, merchandising and design Paul Marchant is leading the menswear team until he can replace King, who joined New Look in 2003.
It follows mounting speculation about a bid for the 594-store chain, which has appointed Merrill Lynch to advise on its strategic options.
As part of the sale, New Look's menswear is understood to have been touted as a growth area. The category, sold in 80 stores, has a men's market share of less than 2%. Its sales represent less than 5% of the retailer's £1 billion total turnover.
There are plans to grow New Look's menswear market share to match that of its womenswear, which has a 4.5% slice of the market.
Historically, New Look's menswear sales have been driven by commercial products. However, a source said merchandise would become more dynamic in the future.
As the company ramps up its international plans, Alan Osborne has been promoted to the role of supply chain and supply base director, charged with developing a global supply strategy. Joint retail director Ann Chan has been made retail HR director, and Jo McWilliams will take complete control of the retail director role.
New Look chief executive Phil Wrigley said: "I am delighted by the changes. As the business continues to expand, a new structure has been put in place to support its growth."
New Look opened its 10th international company-owned store, in France, this week.
- Market speculation this week suggested that interested parties are getting close to making a bid for New Look. However, nothing had been tabled as Drapers went to press.
Micky Jagtiani, the boss of Dubai-based Landmark Group, had formerly expressed interest in the business, but said: "At the moment we are not in the race, but if the situation arises we could be interested. I believe there are a lot of companies looking at investing in New Look."