Pickavance told HR: "In the short term it's going to free time to focus on CREATE Leeds - ( a social enterprise for the homeless) and to help deliver a national strategy for Youth Unemployment."
Karen Caddick, who joined Morrisons in February from Spirit Group, will take up his duties as HR director.
The news comes as HR magazine shortlisted Pickavance for the accolade of HR Director of the Year 2012. Morrisons is determined to lead the way in diversity and, in 2011, Pickavance revealed plans to exceed the targets set out in the Davies review, Women on Boards, with the challenge of reaching 30% female representation on the senior management group within three years.
With 70% of Morrisons' customers female, he believes the firm's suppliers should also reflect diversity at board level. Last year he asked suppliers to sign a pledge to set targets for women in senior positions and to share best practice in this area.
It is not just about women, though. The firm is targeting youth and the long-term unemployed to work at new store openings, with typically more than half of new store staff previously unemployed.