Burberry president and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey is set to leave the listed luxury retailer at the end of 2018.

Bailey will remain in his two roles until March 31, 2018, when he will step down.

He will then work with new chief executive Marco Gobbetti during a nine-month transition phase before leaving at the end of 2018 to pursue “new creative projects”.

Bailey, who has been with Burberry for the past 17 years, became joint chief executive and chief creative officer in 2014, a move which many observed was too demanding in an increasingly tough market.

He was succeeded as chief executive in July by Marco Gobbetti, formerly chief executive of French luxury brand Céline.

While Burberry continues to lead the British luxury market, it has not been immune to the headwinds suffered by the sector.

Turbulence in lucrative markets including Asia and the Middle East has affected Burberry’s performance in recent years and Bailey’s stint as chief executive, a role which many believed he was not suited for, coincided with that market downturn.

Bailey said: “It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry… the decision to leave was not an easy one.

“I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco.

“I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition.”

Gobbetti said: “Burberry has undergone an incredible transformation since 2001 and Christopher has been instrumental to the company’s success in that period.

“While I am sad not to have the opportunity to partner with him for longer, the legacy he leaves and the exceptional talent we have at Burberry give me enormous confidence in our future. 

“We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand and I am excited about the opportunity ahead.”