Blacks Leisure chief executive Neil Gillis is to resign from the retailer.

Gillis today gave his notice to stand down as chief executive and as a director of Blacks in six months’ time.

The retailer’s nomination committee will begin the process of identifying and appointing a successor.

Gillis said: “I am proud of what we have achieved with Blacks Leisure over the last three years. We took some difficult decisions to protect and strengthen the business during a very turbulent economic period and an intensely competitive environment in outdoor retail.

“The exit from the loss making Sandcity business, the reduction in central overheads of £9m, the successful implementation of the CVA and the success of the new store rollout programme were the key steps to position the business for recovery.

“I have always seen my role with the company as a three year period of intense activity and I believe that it is right for another individual to lead the business in the final phase of the turnaround programme.”

Blacks chairman David Bernstein said: “Neil has steered the business skilfully through some difficult times and we are grateful for his work over the last thee years. Neil will be staying with the business over the next six months to ensure a smooth and effective transition as we complete the final phase of the turnaround plan.”

Gillis kicked off a turnaround of Blacks when he joined but his efforts were hampered by the recession. Blacks called off a sale of the business last month after no agreement could be made with potential buyers.