Ms Iverson, who heads Mothercare, was brought to Storehouse in 1990 by David Dworkin, a fellow American who was brought across to revitalise the BhS chain. He was promoted to chief executive in May 1992 but left less than a year later to take up a post with Carter Hawley Hale, the US retailer.
Many in the City had expected Ms Iverson to follow Mr Dworkin to Carter. Instead she is joining Melville Group, where she will head its toy division, Kay-Bee.
Kay-Bee toys has a turnover of about dollars 1bn ( pounds 695m) - more than twice the size of Mothercare - and 1,100 employees.
Ms Iverson said her departure was partly due to her 19-year-old daughter's recent return to the US.
Ms Iverson will not be paid compensation although she will be able to exercise 153,030 options, granted at 99p, in May. At yesterday's share price of 218p, down 11p, these are already showing a pounds 182,00 profit. She exercised 200,000 options, at 127p, last year.
Ms Iverson is the latest in a series of directors to leave the group, which has been through four finance directors and three chief executives in five years.
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