Ocado chief financial officer Andrew Bracey is to make a surprise departure from the online grocer to join recruitment company Michael Page.

The retailer also revealed that executive director Jason Gissing, one of its co-founders, is to take up the new board position of commercial director.

Mark Richardson, head of technology, will be promoted to the newly created board role of operations director.

Gissing will be responsible for “Ocado’s retail activities, including buying, supplier and customer relationships, marketing and brand development”.

His previous responsibility for human resources will be taken up by Neill Abrams, Ocado’s executive director and director of legal and business affairs.

Ocado chairman Michael Grade said: “The changes to executive responsibility will allow Tim Steiner greater freedom to drive Ocado’s strategy forward.

 “Jason Gissing is one of the co-founders of the business and has been a critical member of the executive team. In his new role he will be at the heart of our retail development as we look to increase the reach and profitability of the business.

 “Mark Richardson has worked closely with Tim as we have addressed the capacity issues of recent months. We believe we have re-established a positive path to allow us to meet increased demand in 2012.  Mark will now take full responsibility for the day to day technical and operating side of the business.”

Ocado also said that Wendy Becker, a former chief marketing officer of Vodafone and managing director of TalkTalk, would join as a non-executive director.