Hannu Ryopponen, chief financial officer of troubled Dutch supermarket group Ahold is leaving the company.

In a surprise announcement, Ryopponen said that he was leaving the group to take up the position of chief financial officer at Finnish paper and board manufacturer Stora Enso.

Ryopponen joined Ahold in July 2003, five months after the group discovered an accounting scandal at its US food distribution arm.

He was credited with helping save Ahold from collapse and is a key member of the group’s three-year restructuring programme.