Debenhams chief executive, Michael Sharp, will step down in 2016 after five years in this role.
Several of the firms’ investors were unhappy with the retailer’s performance and had pushed for a board shake up.
Sharp has worked for Debenhams since 2011.
Despite Sharp’s efforts to increase shopper numbers, by cutting back on promotions and strengthening the online ordering and delivery options, the firm has seen little sales and profit growth in recent years.
"I accepted the job of chief executive with the intention of spending five years in the role and although it will be difficult to leave a fabulous company like Debenhams, now is the right time for the board to begin the process of identifying my successor," says Sharp.