LONDON -- Burberry's chief creative officer and president will be leaving the company by the end of 2018.

The luxury retailer said Tuesday that Christopher Bailey has decided it was time to "pursue new creative projects."

Bailey had once served as both chief executive and chief creative officer -- a unique dual role in the industry. He had championed the use of the digital marketplace, embracing the new medium with innovations like allowing shoppers to immediately buy online what they see on the catwalk during a fashion show.

But the luxury retailer had struggled in recent years to reinvigorate sales in key markets in Asia.

Bailey says that despite his departure he remains "fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition."