Moss Bros will be left without a new chairman this week after it emerged that potential candidates are unwilling to take the role at the beleaguered retailer.

The situation will leave Moss Bros without a guiding force and further delay its revitalisation after months of instability surrounding the failed£40 million takeover by its largest shareholder, Baugur.

Former Littlewoods chief Barry Gibson, who was favoured by Moss Bros to take the role, will not join the company.

It is was understood that chairman Keith Hamill was preparing to step down as Retail Week went to press, leaving the role vacant. He said previously he would remain chairman only until the conclusion of the bidding process.

Baugur walked away from the 42p-a share deal after four months of warring shareholders trying to scupper the bid, citing changes to the retailer’s share register as the reason.

It is expected that independent board member and deputy chairman Bernie Myers will take the reins while the search for a chairman continues.

A source close to the situation said some candidates could have been deterred by the challenging sector and shareholder in-fighting.

“Together this is a long-term problem, although not with the retailer itself, which is well funded,” the source said.

Shareholder, the Gee family, is believed to be in talks to sell its 5 per cent stake (RW Online June 12). Last week, Laura Ashley upped its stake to more than 10 per cent.

Last week, Moss said like-for-likes fell 1.5 per cent in the 19 weeks to June 7.

Moss Bros declined to comment.