James Fogarty, CEO of women’s wear retailer Charming Shoppes, has stepped down, with Anthony Romano taking over the day-to-day running of the company.

Romano, executive vice president of global sourcing and business transformation, takes on the role of COO while the board of the US company searches for a new CEO.

Michael Blitzer, a principal of corporate advisory firm Portsmouth Partners, joins the board and will serve as a consultant to Charming Shoppes while a new CEO is found and installed.

Company chairman Michael Goldstein paid tribute to Fogarty, saying: “Under his leadership we have made significant progress in the financial and operational phase of our restructuring by improving our balance sheet; increasing our liquidity; reducing costs; and strengthening our management team.

“As we now move to the next phase of building Charming Shoppes’ brands with a focus on women’s plus-size apparel, both Jim and the board feel the company is best served by having an individual with significant retail experience at our helm.”