Troubled retailer, financial services, funeral and legal services provider The Co-operative Group has lost its Group CIO Andy Haywood.

A spokesperson for the Co-operative Group said: "Andy Haywood was a member of the Executive during a particularly challenging time for the Group and was part of the team that managed the recapitalisation plan for the Bank.

"Following the separation of Bank from the Group, the role of CIO was no longer on the Management Executive and became a substantially different role and, consequently, Andy has left the Group to explore other opportunities," The Cooperative Group said in a statement.

Haywood confirmed to this title that he has left the Manchester-based Co-operative Group and that he wished the organisation and team well.

In recent months The Co-operative has lost two senior IT leaders, Pete Coleman left the role of CIO of the Co-operative Bank in April 2014 and Ian Dyson left in March to join retailer Debenhams as Director of IS Service Delivery & Transition.

In March 2014 Haywood was removed from the executive board as part of a management reshuffle led by Richard Pennycook, the interim group chief executive. Pennycook will become COO overseeing IT of the mutual organisation when a new Chief Executive is appointed to replace Euan Sutherland.

Haywood joined the Co-operative in 2012 as the organisation's first Group CIO having been IT Director of chemist retail specialist Boots from 2009. One year into his role at The Co-operative Haywood said of the IT challenge; "Because of the organisation's diversity and uniqueness IT has evolved over many years. The size and scale has evolved and it's doubled in size and performance in the last five years."

Haywood devised a unifying strategy to enable The Co-operative to use its scale to greater effect in the technology industry. Haywood also brought together a talented team, many of whom had worked with the business technology leader at both Boots and Halifax previously. The team not only devised a unifying strategy but was also working towards The Co-operative's place in a digital economy.