Andy Haywood is leaving his role as IT Director at pharmacy chain Boots to join the Co-operative Group as Group CIO.

Haywood’s new role is as group CIO reporting directly to Peter Marks Group CEO of the Manchester based retailer, pharmacy, funeral services and banking group. This is a new role for the Co-operative Group as it puts IT on a higher cross organisational role.

Haywood told CIO UK that he was very sad to leave Boots mid-way though a major transformation at the Nottingham company but the Co-operative Group offer was too good to pass up. The resurgence of the Co-operative Group in retail and finance in particular of late appealed to Yorkshire man Haywood. Since the credit crisis of 2008 the ethical standards and employee and customer ownership model of the Co-operative Group has helped the company win back customers and Haywood said it played a part in his decision.

At Boots Haywood was central to a three year transformation plan that he told CIO UK had technology at its heart.

“Supply chain, multi-channel retail and the back office are all seeing their technology renewed,” he said.

Haywood will remain with Boots until the end of this year and join the Co-operative Group in January 2012.

The Co-operative Group too has been on a transformative path led at the Trading Group, essentially all divisions apart from Financial Services, by Ian Dyson. In recent years the company has acquired supermarket rivals Somerfield and its financial arm acquired the Britannia building society. In August 2011 the Co-operative Group gained Office of Fair Trading approval to merge its high street travel business with that of Thomas Cook.

Haywood said CEO Marks has bold and ambitious plans for the Group and technology will play an important role, hence the appointment.

Ian Dyson remains Director of IS for the trading group.

Read more about Boots and The Co-operative Group:

Co-op CIO Ian Dyson on the challenges of M&A and outsourcing

CIO Profile: Boots the Chemist's Andy Haywood on legacy retailing

CIO Profile: Boots the Chemist's Andy Hayward on heading up retail IT

CIO Profile: Boots the Chemist's Andy Haywood on the retailer's IT strategy