The chief executive of apparel retailer J Crew Group Inc, Mark Sarvary, has left the company by mutual agreement and will no longer be a member of the board, it was announced on Wednesday.

The New York-based company said in a statement it was "aggressively" searching for a replacement. Only two weeks ago, Scott Formby, the company's executive vice president, design, left the firm.

J Crew COO, Walter Killough, said: "Mark was instrumental in making significant operational improvements to the organisation during the past three years."

J Crew lost $11 million in fiscal 2001, compared to a net profit of $11m in 2000. It cited a difficult environment and weak retail market for the downturn in its fortunes.