Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips has shaken up the responsibilities of his top team as it moves into new channels including online grocery.

Group logistics and supply chain director Neal Austin, who sits on the company’s management board, has taken on responsibility for the grocer’s burgeoning online grocery business. Simon Thompson, managing director for online food, will report in to Austin.

The grocer has moved group retail director Mark Harrison to become group manufacturing director and chief executive of the retailer’s Woodheads, Farmers Boy, Wm Morrisons Produce, Rathbones, Simply Fresh and Flowerworld operations. The retailer is building its manufacturing operations to support its vertically integrated supply chain.

He is replaced as group retail director Martyn Fletcher who was previously group manufacturing director. The moves will take effect in September.

The retailer is expanding its operations after inking a deal with Ocado to launch an online grocery offer by January next year. Morrisons had hired former Kiddicare boss Scott Weavers-Wright to spur the online launch but Retail Week revealed this month he has stepped back from the role.

In an internal memo seen by Retail Week, Philips said: “We need to build a strong, integrated team that is well equipped to handle the challenges of multi-channel, multi-format retailing. This business is great at ‘Buy’, ‘Make’, ‘Move’, and ‘Sell’. I’m so proud of the strength we have in the teams across all of our business including in commercial, in manufacturing, in logistics and in our shops.

“These changes are another important step to building the business for tomorrow, as well as trading hard for today.”