Mothercare finance director Neil Harrington has resigned from the struggling maternity retailer.

Harrington will take up a role at an unnamed private equity firm, Mothercare said.

Harrington joined Mothercare in January 2006. The retailer said he has “contributed to Mothercare’s development as a strong international brand, with over 1,300 stores worldwide”.

He will remain with the business “for the time being to ensure an orderly hand over of responsibilities”.

Mothercare executive chairman Alan Parker said:  “I would like to thank Neil for his significant contribution to Mothercare over the past six years.  We wish him every success in the future.”

The retailer said it is “commencing a search for a replacement immediately and a further announcement will be made in due course regarding the timing of Neil’s departure”.

Harrington was previously finance director of Asda-owned George Clothing UK.

Mothercare has struggled in the face of growing competition online and in the supermarkets. Its former boss Ben Gordon exited last year after a series of profit warnings.

The retailer is also shedding hundreds of stores as it seeks to turn around the business. New boss Simon Calver joins from Amazon-owned Lovefilm on Monday.