Jonathan Vardon, recently Boots IT Director, is teaming up with Group CIO Andy Haywood at The Cooperative. Vardon will become CIO for digital within The Cooperative Group as the mutual retail and financial services organisation looks to expand its online business.

Vardon told CIO UK he will be responsible for shaping and delivering the digital strategy for the Cooperative and will also have responsibility for the operations side of technology. The digital strategy will include ecommerce, social and mobile as the mutual company expands its digital footprint.

At Boots, Vardon has been instrumental in modernising the supply chain technology and ensuring online and high street retail are inter-linked at Boots, put simply he was the Digital innovator within the Boots organisation. Vardon was also able to give IT a greater voice within the senior leadership team during his time at Boots.

Haywood, formerly IT Director of Boots, recruited Vardon to the Nottinghamshire chemists as a key business technology leader for the transformation programme Haywood began for Boots.

As Cooperative Group CIO Haywood is driving one of the biggest transformation programmes currently in flight in the UK to give the Manchester-based organisation greater efficiency from its considerable scale and breadth of market opportunities.

The Cooperative is a diverse business that belongs to its members, many of whom are staff. In recent years the retail arm has gone through a successful renaissance as the UK's leading convenience brand. However a recent deal to acquire branches of Lloyds fell through due to complexities on both sides.

Haywood's initial focus has been on linking and streamlining the various IT operations together, as he told CIO UK last year the organisation has evolved.

"Now we are trying to bring that together and use the size and scale in the markets we serve," Haywood said. In the same interview Haywood talked of the ambition of the Cooperative which is expanding its legal services arm amongst others. Vardon's recruitment alongside CTO Michael Paulson gives the Cooperative Group a strong layer of business technology leadership begin its next phase of transformation.