Topshop managing director Mary Homer is to leave the flagship Arcadia brand to run homewares and fashion specialist The White Company.
Homer has been in charge of Topshop for 10 years, and originally joined in 1985.
During her time as managing director she successfully steered Topshop through the recession and built it from being a primarily UK business to one with an increasingly international footprint, including in the US.
Topshop owner Sir Philip Green told Retail Week: “After 30 years of loyal service, Mary is leaving us. She’s achieved a lot and we’ve achieved a lot and now she’s found an opportunity somewhere different.
Homer told Retail Week: “Topshop has been a huge part of my life. There’s never a right time to go but this opportunity came along.
“The White Company has so much opportunity and I wanted to be part of that. It was a difficult decision because Topshop is a great business.”
Homer’s successor is yet to be appointed and Green was open-minded about who that might be.
He said: “The phone will start ringing when people read this.”
The White Company, funded by entrepreneur Chrissie Rucker, is, like Topshop, expanding overseas and will enter the US with a store on New York’s Fifth Avenue this summer.
That will be followed by more branches in malls in New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The retailer posted pre-tax profits, excluding exceptionals, up 50% to £17.2m in its last financial year.
Homer replaces Will Kernan at The White Company. He left to run specialist sports etailer Wiggle.