Barneys boss Howard Socol is to leave the luxury clothing chain at the end of June, the company has confirmed.

Socol's departure from the posts of chairman, president and CEO, rumoured earlier this week, was confirmed by the company yesterday (13 May).

Reports in The Wall Street Journal had suggested that he was dissatisfied with the level of communication with Barneys' new owner Istithmar, and with its aggressive international expansion plans.

Socol, who joined the company in January 2001, oversaw a period of significant growth for Barneys, as well as two changes in company ownership.

"After more than seven of the greatest years of my long career in retail, I felt it was time to take time to enjoy all the opportunities that life affords," he said.

"I felt strongly about remaining with the company for a short period following the sale to Istithmar, as well through the opening of our Las Vegas flagship.

"With the sale process well behind us and the Las Vegas location having opened in January of this year, this is the appropriate time to move forward."

Istithmar CEO David Jackson thanked Socol for his "incredible contributions", adding: "He leaves Barneys with a seasoned management team in place that is poised to take Barneys to the next level. A search is currently under way for a successor that will work cohesively with that team."

Dubai-based private equity firm Istithmar bought Barneys from Jones Apparel for US$942.3m last August, fighting off a rival bid from Japan's Fast Retailing.

At the time, it was agreed that Socol would remain in post for about a year to work with the company's new owner.