The Co-operative group has revealed changes to its executive management, having postponed the release of its annual results by three weeks.

It has created a new management executive role of chief operating officer, who will oversee finance/ procurement, IT, risk and transformation delivery.

The role will be filled by Richard Pennycook, currently interim chief executive, once a permanent CEO is appointed. The group is currently searching for an interim chief operating officer.

Claire Davies has been appointed as group secretary, joining the business from Lloyds Banking Group. She will work closely with Alistair Asher, general counsel, in the running of the board and its committees.

Additionally, Mark Summerfield has been appointed managing director of The Co-operative Banking Group. He will oversee ongoing work to separate the group from The Co-Op Bank.

Steve Murrells, CEO retail, currently overseeing food, pharmacy, farm and e-store, will also take on additional responsibility for property and estates.

Rod Bulmer, previously deputy chief executive at The Co-operative Bank, joins the management executive as CEO consumer services. Starting in June, he will have responsibility for general insurance, funeral care and legal services.

Nick Folland, chief external affairs officer, has been given additional responsibility for all aspects of membership and social goals, alongside his existing responsibilities for internal and external communications.

Furthermore, Sam Walker, previously HR director group functions, has been appointed as chief HR officer, succeeding Rebecca Skitt. The group also announced that Paula Kerrigan has been appointed chief strategy officer, and will “continue to develop the group’s purpose and strategy”.

Martyn Hulme, Gill Barr and Andy Haywood will give up their positions on the management executive, but will continue to oversee their respective functions. Meanwhile Mark Craig, director of Co-operative relations, will leave the group after more than 30 years.

Following the changes, Pennycook said the group was “better positioned to tackle the complex issues” it now faces.

He said: “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.”

Meanwhile, the group announced the delay of its publication of annual results from 26 March to 17 April.

Its annual meeting will be held on 17 May as planned, where members will hear details of the group’s strategy review. A special general meeting is also planned where members can vote on proposals for reform of the group’s governance.