Pharmacy and beauty retailer Boots has confirmed it will drop the role of IT director, after Rob Fraser stepped down from the position today.

A source close to the company told Computerworld UK: “The work Rob Fraser was doing has come to a natural end. He did a great job completing a big integration project and wants to move on.”

The news comes as Boots nears the end of a six-year IT overhaul costing £350m. Among the projects involved was the roll-out of a SAP enterprise resource planning system in place of several legacy systems.

The source added that the company would not replace Fraser, instead dividing the IT director function among the next tier of systems managers at the firm. He said: “The IT director role is not being replaced in the future. The work is to be split between the management.”

Boots has reduced IT staff numbers to 150 from over 600 during the overhaul, partly through the outsourcing of data centres and networks to Tata Consultancy Services, the outsourcing of a transaction system to Xansa, and the transfer of a customer relationship management project to IBM.

But the announcement of the company losing its IT chief will come as a shock to many in the IT community, considering Boots runs such a sizeable IT operation.

The change appears to be part of the company’s management shakeup since it was acquired by private equity firm KKR and Boots deputy chairman Stefano Pessina in April. The shakeup has also seen the departure in the last few weeks of chief executive Richard Baker, and retail chief Scott Wheway.