Majestic Wine retail operations director Rob Farnworth is leaving the business after 18 months in the role, Retail Week can reveal.

It is thought that Farnworth, who previously spent three years in a similar role at Hobbycraft and two-and-a-half years as head of retail at Screwfix, does not have another job to go to.

His exit comes just two months after Retail Week revealed that the managing director of Majestic Wine’s retail business John Colley was quitting to become chief executive of Hobbycraft.

He officially took up the position as Catriona Marshall’s successor on Monday.

Majestic is midway through a turnaround plan under boss Rowan Gormley, who took the reins in April 2015 after Majestic bought Naked Wines – the online wine business the South African entrepreneur founded.

Pre-tax losses

Gormley has scaled back the store opening programme and shifted investment towards multichannel and customer loyalty initiatives.

Last week the retailer posted a pre-tax loss of £1.5m for the year to April 3, compared to a £4.7m profit the previous year.

Majestic attributed the swing into the red to non-cash charges associated with the acquisition of Naked Wines.

Majestic now through the “most risky and cost intensive” phase of its transformation plan

However, it hailed a 15.8% spike in sales during the 53-week period and insisted it was now through the “most risky and cost intensive” phase of its transformation plan.

Gormley told Retail Week: “We can confirm that Rob is leaving the business.

“Rob did a great job in the first phase of the turnaround.

“The second phase is about unleashing the entrepreneurial energy within the business, which requires a different set of skills and tools.”

Majestic has not yet lined up Farnworth’s successor and an appointment is not expected to be imminent.

Retail Week understands Majestic is likely to fill the role by promoting an internal candidate.