Appointment of Group Chief Executive

September 04, 2014

The Board of The Co-operative Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Pennycook as Group Chief Executive, with immediate effect. Richard was previously Interim Group Chief Executive, a role he had held since March this year. He initially joined the Group in June 2013 as Finance Director, before being appointed Chief Operating Officer.

Ursula Lidbetter, Chair, The Co-operative Group, said:

“The Co-operative Group needs strong, talented, committed leadership as it starts on the next phase of its recovery and I am delighted that Richard has accepted the role of Group Chief Executive. Last week we secured the overwhelming approval of our members for far-reaching governance reform. We are now moving forward with the work to bring to life the new structure. 

“It is against that backdrop that the Board decided to act with speed, and in the interest of the Group and its people, by appointing a permanent Group Chief Executive quickly and with immediate effect. We have seen the first-class job that Richard has done over the last six months, in challenging circumstances, leading a strong executive team. He has a commitment to co-operative values and principles and has built a strong rapport with our members. We are clear that he is the right person to continue the process of rebuilding the Group.”

Richard Pennycook, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, said:

“I am delighted to have the chance to lead The Co-operative Group through the crucial job of rebuilding the business. We have taken major steps forward over the last six months, securing governance reform and repairing our balance sheet, but we have much to do to return the Group to full financial health and improve the performance of our businesses. I lead a talented executive team that has started this vital process and together we will continue our work to restore the Group to its rightful place at the heart of communities. With our members’ continued help and the ongoing support of our customers and colleagues, I am confident that The Co-operative Group has a strong and exciting future ahead of it."

Media Enquiries

The Co-operative Group

Russ Brady
Tel: 07880 784442
Therese O’Donnell
Tel: 07738 622866 / 08437 540899

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Tel: 020 7353 4200
Susanna Voyle
Jonathan Sibun
Giles Kernick

Notes to Editors

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest co-operative business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.” Owned by more than eight million members, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 4,500 outlets, with around 87,000 employees and has an annual turnover of £11 billion with interests across Food, Funerals, Insurance and Legal Services.