Sue Shipley, one of the best known retail headhunters, is to leave search firm Odgers Berndtson at the end of the year.

Her departure follows the combining of Odgers’ retail and consumer practices. Jane Dessar, who joined Odgers in September, will run the enlarged practice.

The well-respected Shipley’s future plans have not been revealed. Over the last 18 months her placings have included Adrian Mountford as commercial director of Matalan and Jonathan Hart as chief executive of Thorntons. Odgers is also conducting a search for a new managing director of Argos.

An Odgers spokesman said: “Jane Dessar has recently joined Odgers Berndtson as Head of the Retail and Consumer Practice. 

“With more than 15 years experience in executive search, Jane brings a wealth of experience across a broad mix of senior level and main board appointments for both UK and multi-national businesses. Jane takes over from Sue Shipley at the end of the year.”