John Lewis Direct managing director Robin Terrell will leave in the new year ahead of an integration of the department store operator’s online arm into the main business.

Terrell, who joined John Lewis Direct in April last year, said the decision would create a “joined up customer objective”.

He said: “When it was set up, that John Lewis Direct was a separate business made sense. But it gets to a stage where the business needs to be integrated.”

Terrell, who was formerly chief operating officer of lingerie etailer Figleaves for three years and prior to that managing director of Amazon for four years, said that the 240 partners who work at the online arm will be integrated into the main business, leaving a specialist team of 80.

The team will relocate from the John Lewis Direct London offices in Chelsea – the former Peter Jones service building – to the department store’s head office in Victoria.

No redundancies have been made and staff in functions such as finance and HR will be subsumed into John Lewis’ main functions.

John Lewis has bought in B&Q director of multichannel Jonathon Brown as head of online selling, a role created to head up the specialist team. Brown will have sales accountability for the online division.

Last week, John Lewis reported a 35% increase in sales at John Lewis Direct. Last month, Terrell revealed that plans to generate £8.5m of additional sales from John Lewis’ revamped fashion site in the half to the end of January were set to be hit by early December.

Terrell added that womenswear sales were currently three times ahead of last year.

A spokeswoman for John Lewis said: “Our online operation is the fastest growing part of the John Lewis Division and delivering our multichannel strategy is our number one business priority.”

Terrell added “no final decision” had been taken about his next move but he was keen to work on building multichannel strategies for retailers.