Fiona Harrison has resigned as chief executive of Retail Stores Plc and Liberty due to ill health. She will, however, remain on the board as a non-executive director.

The company has appointed John Ball, currently Liberty's retail managing director, has been appointed as interim CEO until a replacement is found.

Harrison joined Retail Stores Plc, the vehicle created to acquire Liberty Plc, in November 2000. She had previously been chief executive of Coats Viyella Plc's fashion retail division before leaving in 1998, and was charged with re-establishing Liberty as a global luxury brand and re-focusing its retailing operations.