coopbankGill Barr, the Co-operative’s marketing director, is to step down from the management executive board (but will continue in her role) as the company undergoes a major management restructure following the departure of chief executive Euan Sutherland.

Sutherland resigned from his post last week with immediate effect, plunging the Manchester-headquartered business into yet more turmoil.

Sutherland, a former marketer for Coca-Cola, Curry’s and Matalan, tendered a letter of resignation to the Co-op board saying that his job of overhauling the business had become “impossible”.

Now a major shake-up of management is underway.

Barr will continue with her responsibilities, but will now report to Nick Folland, chief external affairs officer, who is adding responsibility for all aspects of membership and social goals into his existing  internal and external communications role.

Paula Kerrigan, chief strategy officer, will now become a member of the board, and continue to develop the group’s purpose and strategy.

Interim group chief executive Richard Pennycook will take on a new management executive role of chief operating officer, overseeing finance, IT, risk and transformation delivery once a new chief executive has been found.

Pennycook said: “I am pleased to be announcing these changes to our management team, which mean we are better positioned to tackle the complex issues we face.

“We are focused on the hard work needed to complete the development of our new strategy. This is the right team to deliver that strategy in the interests of all our stakeholders: customers, colleagues and members.”

Steve Murrells, chief executive of retail, will maintain responsibility for food, pharmacy, farms and e-store, but will also take responsibility for property and estates.

Rod Bulmer moves from his position of deputy chief executive of the Co-operative Bank to become the chief executive of consumer services. He will join the group in June and become responsible for general insurance, funeralcare and legal services.

The group’s annual results, report and accounts had been due to be published on March 26 but will now be delayed until April 17.