Debenhams trading director Suzanne Harlow is leaving the department store business as it restructures its main board.

The retailer said Harlow will depart on October 20 following more than two decades with the company.

Debenhams said it was creating three new business units in order to “support the delivery” of its Debenhams Redesigned transformation strategy.

The trio of divisions will encompass fashion and home, beauty and beauty services and food and events.

As a result of those changes, Debenhams said the main board role of group trading director will no longer exist.

Each of the three business units will be led by a member of the executive committee.

Debenhams said a new member of that senior leadership team will be appointed in due course to lead the fashion and home division.

New Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher will take responsibility for that arm on an interim basis.

Bucher said: “I would like to thank Suzanne personally for her support since my arrival at Debenhams in October last year.

“She has done an excellent job since she joined Debenhams in 1994 and over the last eight years as group trading director has driven growth in categories such as beauty, accessories, food and gift.

“We have strengthened the management team over the last 12 months and now have a structure in place to support our ambition to become a leader in social shopping.”

Chairman Sir Ian Cheshire added: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Suzanne for her significant contribution to Debenhams over the last 23 years.

“She has proved herself a consummate professional and I personally would like to thank her particularly for her help and support to the business through the period of leadership transition.

“We wish her every success in the future.”