Co-operative Group chief executive Euan Sutherland has written a resignation letter after labelling the business “ungovernable”.

Sutherland handed in his resignation yesterday morning which trigged an emergency board meeting via telephone yesterday evening, in which it agreed to put in place a new, more conventional, board that would allow the Co-op to be managed more like other businesses.

It is unclear whether Sutherland has made a u-turn now that the board has agreed such a bold move. His letter was seen as a “back-me-or-sack-me move”, according to the BBC.

Sutherland, who joined from Kingfisher last May, is said to be “demoralised and fed-up,” and may well still resign.

The development comes after information about Sutherland and other executives’ renumeration package was leaked over the weekend. Sutherland subsequently took to Facebook to condemn the leak, which he suspects came from a member of the group board. The additional unauthorised disclosure about his resignation could further anger Sutherland.

On the Co-op’s Facebook page Sutherland said: “We seem to have an individual, or individuals, determined to undermine me personally. We appear to have disaffected people who are determined to make life difficult and embarrassing for The Co-operative at a time when what we need most are professionalism and loyalty to the business.”

Sutherland is attempting to turn around the business following a string of controversies at its banking arm. The group is expected to report an annual loss later this month of as much as £2bn.

Co-op boss Euan Sutherland writes resignation letter