Upmarket department store operator Neiman Marcus Group Inc has promoted two of its most senior executives in a reshuffle that will "help prepare them for broader responsibilities" as the company grows - a move that has sparked speculation that the company may be planning an initial public offering early next year.

Karen Katz, president and chief executive officer of the Neiman Marcus Stores division, has been promoted to executive vice president of The Neiman Marcus Group, with additional responsibility for strategy, business development and marketing.

And James Skinner, the group's senior vice president and chief financial officer has been promoted to executive vice president, CFO, where he will also oversee information services.

Katz and Skinner will continue to report to Burt Tansky, chairman and CEO, and will join him in a new integral group called 'the office of the chairman.'

This group will be responsible for leading the overall strategic direction of the organisation and setting policy, the company said in a statement.

Brendan Hoffman, president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Direct and Jim Gold, president and CEO of Bergdorf Goodman, will continue to report to Mr Tansky.