The Co-operative Group changes to Executive Management team

March 19, 2014

The Co-operative Group announces changes to its Executive Management team, designed to ensure the delivery of the first phase of the Group’s purpose and strategy and start the important work of revitalising the organisation.

Steve Murrells, CEO Retail, will maintain responsibility for Food, Pharmacy, Farms and E-Store but will also take responsibility for property and estates. Martyn Hulme, Managing Director Co-operative Estates, will report to Steve.

Rod Bulmer joins the Management Executive as CEO Consumer Services. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive at The Co-operative Bank. He joins the Group in June and will have responsibility for General Insurance, Funeralcare and Legal Services.

Alistair Asher retains his current role as General Counsel, along with his seat on the Bank Board and his Chairmanship of Co-operative Legal Services. Additionally, the Company Secretarial and Governance teams will report into Alistair.

Nick Folland, Chief External Affairs Officer, is adding responsibility for all aspects of Membership and Social Goals to his existing responsibilities for internal and external communications. Gill Barr, Marketing Director, will now report to Nick.

Claire Davies has been appointed as Group Secretary, joining the business from Lloyds Banking Group. She will work closely with Alistair Asher and will report to Ursula Lidbetter, Group Chair, in the running of the Group Board and its Committees.

Sam Walker, previously HR Director Group Functions, has been appointed as Chief HR Officer and joins the Management Executive. She succeeds Rebecca Skitt, who has left the business.

Paula Kerrigan joins the Management Executive as Chief Strategy Officer and will continue to develop the Group’s purpose and strategy.

A new Management Executive role of Chief Operating Officer will also be created, overseeing Finance/Procurement, IT, Risk and Transformation Delivery. Richard Pennycook, Interim Group Chief Executive, will assume this role once a permanent Group Chief Executive has been appointed. The Group has begun the search for an Interim Chief Operating Officer. While this search progresses, Richard will maintain responsibility for these functions. Andy Haywood, Chief Information Officer, will report to Richard.

Mark Craig, Director of Co-operative Relations, will be leaving the Group after more than 30 years.

Martyn Hulme, Gill Barr and Andy Haywood will give up their positions on the Management Executive, but will continue to oversee their respective functions.

In a further change, Mark Summerfield has been appointed Managing Director of The Co-operative Banking Group. In that role he will run the General Insurance business as well as overseeing the ongoing work to separate the Group from The Co-operative Bank.

Richard Pennycook, Interim Group Chief Executive, said:

"I am pleased to be announcing these changes to our management team, which mean we are better positioned to tackle the complex issues we face.
"We are focused on the hard work needed to complete the development of our new strategy. This is the right team to deliver that strategy in the interests of all our stakeholders - customers, colleagues and members.”

Forthcoming announcements

The Group is delaying the publication of its annual results and report and accounts, previously due on March 26, until April 17.

The Annual Meeting will continue to be held, as planned, on May 17, at which members will hear the details of the Group’s strategy review. Detailed proposals for reform of the Group’s governance will subsequently be put to a vote of members at a Special General Meeting, the date of which will be confirmed in due course.

For further information contact:

Russ Brady
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 07880 784442
Susanna Voyle
Jonathan Sibun
Tulchan Communications
Tel: 020 7353 4200