Wholesale and retail group Musgrave has confirmed that chief financial officer, Myles O'Grady, is set to leave the company for a "unique", "senior" and "leadership" opportunity in a non-competing sector, just months after he first joined.

Mr O'Grady is a former chief financial officer of Bank of Ireland and the development is likely to fuel speculation that he may be in the running to replace the bank's departing chief executive, Francesca McDonagh.

Both Musgrave Group and Mr O'Grady declined to say where he is moving to, and Bank of Ireland declined to comment on the suggestion he might be returning to it.

"Myles joined Musgrave to be part of a leadership team with an ambition to grow a world class food and beverage business," said Noel Keeley, Musgrave Group CEO in a statement which confirmed Mr O'Grady had tendered his resignation to take up a senior role in a non-competing sector.

"However, we appreciate this is a unique opportunity for him. While Myles was with us for a short period, he made a valuable contribution to the business during that time."

Musgrave added that a process to find a successor to Mr O'Grady would begin shortly.

The development was first reported this evening by The Irish Times.

"I joined Musgrave to support the business on the next stage of its corporate development and growth and have been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to contribute to the delivery of its current successful strategy," said Mr O'Grady in the statement.

"However, the leadership opportunity I am intending on taking up is unique and offers me the ability to achieve great outcomes for various stakeholders and broader society too."

"While my time with Musgrave has been short, it has been a privilege to be a part of one of Europe's most successful family-owned businesses. I have every faith that Musgrave will thrive into the future as it continues to impressively build on its 146-year heritage in food and brand innovation."

Mr O'Grady joined Bank of Ireland in June 2019 as Finance Director Ireland and was appointed CFO in October 2019 and a member of the Board in January 2020.

It was September of last year when the lender announced that he was leaving it to join Musgraves, which owns brands including Supervalu, Centra and Donnybrook Fair.

He took up that position in April.

At the time of his departure, Francesca McDonagh said the bankers remuneration restrictions had left the bank at a competitive disadvantage to other companies and fellow members of the stock exchange which are not restricted in the same way.

"Myles' decision to leave the Irish banking sector highlights the challenge that remuneration restrictions represent for Irish banks in attracting and retaining talent," McDonagh said at that time.

However, since then the State has been selling down its remaining shares in the bank, which now stands at under 3%.

The expectation is that the bank will be entirely privately owned by the end of this year.

It is not yet clear whether the remuneration restrictions on the bank will be lifted or not at that point.

Ms McDonagh is due to depart Bank of Ireland next month following her announcement in April that she intended leaving.

A search has been underway since then with speculation about her potential successor focusing on a range of both internal and external candidates.