Marks & Spencer’s director of insight Steve Bond, who has worked for the retailer for 22 years, has left the business.

Bond, who reported to marketing supremo Steve Sharp and then Sharp’s successor Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, ran M&S’s customer insight unit.

The unit plays a central role in keeping M&S in touch with its customers through data analysis, focus groups, exit interviews and similar initiatives.

A Marks & Spencer spokesman confirmed Bond’s departure and said he leaves with the retailer’s “thanks and best wishes”. A search has begun to find a replacement.

It is unclear whether Bond has left to take up a role with another retailer.