Woolworths has made a raft of changes to its management structure, including the creation of a retail operating board, two new appointments and four senior management departures.

Chief executive Steve Johnson will chair the new board.

He will be joined by two new appointments – Simon Singleton, who joins as retail director and worked alongside Johnson at Focus, and new group chief financial officer Robert McDonald, who replaces Stephen East.

Director of property Colin Carter, director of business development James Collins and director of corporate finance David Roberts are also leaving the company.

Woolworths said the changes are part of its plan to simplify the business and create clear accountability lines and responsibilities.

Also on the board will be existing management: managing director of commercial and marketing operations Tony Page, supply chain and distribution director Phil Streatfield, director of customer services and marketing Tony Holdway, director of HR operations Amanda Marsh and director of IT Tony Godwin.

Holdway will now report directly to chief executive Johnson, instead of Page, as he did previously.

Page takes on other responsibilities including visual merchandising, concessions, and international licensing.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said: “The creation of a Woolworths retail operating board will help create the strategy to take the business forward and provide the leadership to make that happen. Steve Johnson said he wants to accelerate the pace at which he can develop and implement plans within the retail business and this is a big part of being able to do that.”

She added: “This creates much clearer reporting lines, and ensures everyone knows who they’re reporting in to, giving people a real focus.”

Last week retail and distribution director Simon Turner, and group head of HR Claire Tiney left the business, both within a year of joining.

According to Woolworths, it was East’s decision to leave the business, and he will be conducting a handover period with his successor McDonald.

The company would not comment on whether or not the other leavers were made redundant.