Debenhams’ CEO Michael Sharp is set to step down in 2016 amid rumours that investors are demanding a boardroom shake-up.
The company said that Sharp, who became CEO in 2011, always intended to quit after five years in the role.
In a statement Sharp said: “I believe Debenhams is now capable of competing in the ever changing and challenging world of multi-channel retailing.
“I accepted the job of chief executive with the intention of spending five years in the role and although it will be difficult to leave a fabulous company like Debenhams, now is the right time for the board to begin the process of identifying my successor.”
He added: “I hope being transparent about my intentions will stop recent speculation becoming a distraction, allowing me and the Debenhams team to focus on delivering our strategy and the important Christmas trading period.”
Sharp has worked at Burton Group and Debenhams for over 30 years.
In his role as CEO, Sharp achieved many things including strengthening Debenhams’ online sales and building a global presence of the brand.
Debenhams full year profit before tax soared 7.3% to £113.5m while like-for-like sales rose 2.1% in the year.