New Look chief executive Carl McPhail has resigned, and founder Tom Singh returns to the business.

It is unclear if McPhail has a job to go to.

In a statement today, New Look said the board “would like to thank Carl for his significant contribution to the business over a long period of time, including the period since 2008 as chief executive”.

Separately, John Gildersleeve, non-executive chairman since January 2010, will also retire from the board to focus on his other business interests.

As part of the changes, Tom Singh, founder and major shareholder, will return to the business as interim executive chairman while a search for a new leader is undertaken.

New Look suffered a 9.1% plunge in like-for-likes at its core UK busines during the peak Christmas trading period. McPhail said at the time that trading conditions continued to be challenging and the snow in December affected footfall and spending.

New Look, backed by Apax and Permira, wanted to float the business last year but plans were axed because of turbulent market conditions.

The fast fashion retailer has recently suffered a series of exits including Barbara Horspool, group design director, and the driving force of the retailer’s fashion credentials. She will join Oasis.