Christos Angelides, Next's fashion director is to step down from his role to join Abercrombie & Fitch as president of its namesake and kids brands.

Angelides is stepping down with immediate effect but will remain working within the business until he leaves in September. He is expected to take up the role with Abercrombie & Fitch in the US in October.

Angelides has spent his entire career with Next, joining in 1986. He was appointed to his most recent role, group product director, in August 2000 where he was responsible for design, buying, quality and merchandising.

In his new role, Angelides will report to A&F CEO Mike Jeffries and will have overall responsibility for all product and customer-facing activities for the company's brands. He will also be accountable for their financial performance.

"We are excited to welcome Christos to the Abercrombie & Fitch team and to deepen our bench of senior leadership talent," said Jeffries. "Christos brings 28 years of experience working with a multi-billion dollar international retailer.

"His experience with all aspects of running a business made him the perfect candidate for this newly created role. Christos' appointment is a critical step in our long-term strategy of being organised to win and we are excited to welcome him to the Abercrombie team."

Following the announcement of his departure, Next said it will have a balanced board, with four non-executive directors, four executive directors and an independent chairman.

"The company does not intend to appoint any new directors to the Plc board as a consequence of this announcement," it added. Angelides roles will be split between the existing directors.