The Co-operative Group announces two new Independent Non-Executive Directors Peter Plumb and Stevie Spring to join newly elected Group Board

June 26, 2015

Stevie Spring and Peter Plumb

Stevie Spring (top) and Peter Plumb

The Co-operative Group today announces the appointment of two Independent Non-Executive Directors, further strengthening the Board and continuing the governance reforms agreed by members last year.

Peter Plumb, Chief Executive of PLC and Stevie Spring, Chair of the ITG Group and BBC’s Children in Need  and former Chief Executive of magazine and digital publisher, Future PLC, will join the Co-operative Board with effect from 25 June 2015. Both bring senior boardroom and turnaround experience as well as fresh perspectives from other markets. 

The Co-operative Group’s Independent Non-Executive Chair, Allan Leighton, said:

“I am delighted that Peter and Stevie have agreed to join our Board. Both are highly successful senior leaders with a wealth of experience across various business sectors. Their dedication to making a difference for millions of people and their communities demonstrates a great fit with the values and Purpose of the Co-operative Group.

“These appointments will further strengthen our Board, ensuring our members have a diverse and talented group of Directors capable of leading the rebuild of this great British institution. I look forward to working with them all to put the Co-operative back at the heart of communities where we belong.”

In accordance with the Group’s Rules, Peter Plumb and Stevie Spring will put themselves forward for election by Members at next year’s AGM, along with Simon Burke, whose appointment to the Group Board was announced last month.


The Co-operative Group 

  • Jon Church: 07545 210812
  • Russ Brady: 07880 784442        


  • Jonathan Sibun/Giles Kernick: 020 7353 4200


Peter Plumb

Peter has been the CEO of, the leading price comparison service in the UK, since 2009. Peter studied civil engineering at Birmingham University and gained an MBA from IMD in Switzerland. Peter was UK Managing Director of dunnhumby, the engine room of Tesco’s Clubcard, and has also held senior leadership roles in top consumer businesses including Disney, Dyson and PepsiCo.

Stevie Spring

Stevie is a respected Board director with executive and non-executive experience across the private, public and not for profit sectors. After a successful career in brand marketing and consumer advertising, she became CEO of Clear Channel, the world’s largest out of home company, then of Future PLC, where she led its digital transformation to become the largest seller of digital magazines on the Apple Newsstand.  She has Chaired the hugely popular BBC Children in Need appeals since 2008.

About The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.

Governance reform

Following overwhelming agreement from members at the SGM in August 2014, The Co-operative Group has undergone significant governance reform, the main components of which are: 

  • The establishment of a Board composed of a majority of Independent Directors including; an Independent Chair (Allan Leighton), five Independent Non-Executive Directors (four now appointed), two Executive Directors (CEO Richard Pennycook and CFO Ian Ellis who will join the Group from Wilko later in the year) and three Member Nominated Directors (MNDs). The initial MNDs, Hazel Blears, Paul Chandler and Ruth Spellman, were elected at the AGM in May 2015.  All Board Directors are expected to meet the high standards of competence commensurate with the needs of a business of the scale and complexity of the Group and a demonstrated commitment to Co-operative Values and Principles
  • The establishment of a Council to represent members and to act as guardian of the Group’s Purpose, Values and Principles and the Society’s Constitution, with the power to hold the Group Board to account. The Council is composed of a maximum of 100 Members, including colleagues. The  Council is led by a President, elected for a term of two years
  • The creation of a Senate, elected by the Council, to help co-ordinate the activities of the Council and to act as a nexus for interactions between the Council, the Board, the Executive and members