Morrisons has poached Australian supermarket Woolworths’ chief information officer Daniel Beecham as the grocer aims to improve its ageing infrastructure.

Beecham led the transformation of Australia’s largest grocer’s systems in his six years in the role and will join Morrisons in January, Retail Week can reveal.

Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips bemoaned the grocer’s antiquated back office systems earlier this year. “We’ve been running a 21st century business on systems and infrastructure firmly stuck in the 20th century,” Philips said.

The grocer in the process of investing £310m in its systems over three years to the end of January 2014.

Beecham replaces interim chief information officer John Clarke who joined Morrisons in May. Clarke, who has experience at Tesco and Nokia, returns to financial advisory firm Ernst & Young.

Morrisons group finance director Trevor Strain said: “Dan has proven experience of developing an IT infrastructure that can support a large multichannel, multi-format business and he will help us to exploit the technological opportunities that will make Morrisons fit for the future.”

Morrisons last month completed the roll out of new electronic order pads which allow staff to manage stock more effectively using tablets in store.

A key element of Philips’ strategy to modernise the 114-year-old grocer is the launch of its online grocery business in partnership with Ocado. The venture is due to launch in January 2014.