Charming Shoppes Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRS) said Wednesday that its chief executive officer James Fogarty has resigned from his position and has stepped down from the company’s board of directors.

The company, which operates retail chains Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines, is closing out a financial and operational restructuring, and said it will now focus on its apparel. In a release, the retailer said both the board and Fogarty agreed that an executive with retail experience would best serve the company at this juncture.

"On behalf of our entire board, I would like to thank Jim for his hard work over the course of the past year and a half. Under his leadership we have made substantial 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," said Michael Goldstein, chairman of the board. "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."

The board also announced that it would promote Anthony Romano from his position as vice president global sourcing and business transformation, to chief operating officer. Romano will oversee the company’s brand presidents and corporate functions until a new chief executive is appointed.

Michael Blitzer, a principal of Portsmouth Partners, LLC, corporate advisory firm, will join the company's board as a consultant to assist during its search for a new chief executive and transition to new leadership.

Shares of Charming Shoppes rose 23 cents or 5.58% in Wednesday’s session, closing at $4.35 a share. The stock was down 40 cents or 9.20% in after-hours trading.