The chief operating officer of German retailer Edeka, Gert Schambach, has left the company.

Schambach stepped down from Edika at his own request to focus on an unspecified "business challenge", the group said in a statement.

The board of the retailer has been restructured to reflect the change, with chairman and CEO Markus Mosa and finance chief Dr Reinhard Schutte dividing Schambach's responsibilities between them.

Edika said the new structure would enable the board to act more "quickly" and "flexibly" to a "constantly changing market environment".

The new board structure cam into effect yesterday (1 May).