WHSmith group marketing director Richard Cristofoli is to leave the stationer and bookseller next year to become Debenhams marketing director, Retail Week has learned.

Cristofoli will sit on the executive board of the department store group in his new position,which has a broader remit than the former marketing director role.

He will join Debenhams in the spring. Debenhams deputy chief executive Michael Sharp said: “Richard’s wealth of experience in all aspects of marketing and brand management will be much valued. We look forward to his contribution as we continue to grow in the UK and internationally.”

It is understood that WHSmith is yet to find a replacement for Cristofoli.

Cristofoli originally joined WHSmith from Sainsbury’s in 2004 as brand director responsible for the bookseller and stationer’s ad campaigns, promotions and card scheme.