Rose Foster, chief executive of struggling fashion retailer Monsoon, has quit just two months after the resignation of the chain's finance director Mark McMenemy.

Foster will leave by May 2007 to "pursue a new opportunity" which she has said is not at one of Monsoon's direct rivals.

Foster, who had already handed her notice in once before but then stepped into the chief executive role, has been with the company for five years.

The announcement came a day after Monsoon said its CEO had cashed in almost GBP380,000 (US$485,695) worth of share options.

Monsoon recently changed its brokers from Numis Securities to Seymour Pierce, sparking speculation that corporate changes might be afoot.

UK clothing retailer Monsoon recently saw its profits fall 2% to GBP58.0m (US$107.4m) after what chairman Peter Simon described as "the most challenging year in the company's history".