Mike Bracken steps down from Co-op Digital

The Group's chief digital officer is leaving this summer to focus more on his non-executive work

Mike Bracken, chief digital officer at the Co-op Group, has announced he is leaving the organisation later this year.

He joined the Group in 2015 from Government Digital Services, where he focused on simplifying and speeding up services on gov.uk and reshaping the government’s relationship with IT.

“It’s been a brilliant two years with a fantastic organisation,” Mr Bracken wrote on his blog. “As I said when I joined, my focus was to create a Co-op fit for the digital age, based on an open, agile culture and excellent digital services. I had intended initially to only work three days a week for the Co-op but found myself so engaged with the organisation, I had less time than I would have liked to continue my non-executive work.”

Mr Bracken led a digital overhaul of the mutual, which saw its website move away from the .coop domain and the relaunch of a new membership platform alongside last year’s visual rebrand. The Co-op Digital team has also launched a variety of new products and platforms across Wills, Funeralcare and Food.

“As of today, we have hundreds of thousands of new members, and over 4.5 million active members. Those members have given more than £9 million to support local causes,” he said.“That’s part of what makes the Co-op such an amazing place to work – their emphasis on the local community and always giving back.”

Mr Bracken was followed to the Group by several GDS colleagues, including Russell Davies (Group digital strategy director), Tom Loosemore (digital services director), Ben Terrett (Group design director), Mat Wall (who worked with the team to review digital and data architecture), Jamie Arnold (head of agile delivery), Linda Humphries (Co-op Digital business manager) and Emer Coleman (technology engagement lead).

He will now focus on public digital work with government and conglomerates in Peru, Canada and Uruguay and several other countries, and has been named as a visiting professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London. He has also been appointed advisor to the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Centre for Public Impact, and has a book, Redesigning Digital Public Services: The Strategy is Delivery, due out in early 2018.

“I am very proud of The Co-op and Co-op Digital in particular, and am grateful for the support the team has received through the rebuild period,” he said.

“I hope to see the organisation prosper in the digital economy, as the team is now in place to make good on that promise. I wish the board, executive and colleagues all the best. We need a vibrant Co-op to work for our communities and I am sure the organisation is well set for success.”

In a message to colleagues, Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op Group, said: “Mike Bracken will leave the business in the summer to pursue his own consultancy work. I’d like to thank Mike for his huge contribution towards membership and our new generation of digital products and services as well as the Federation, an open community of digital businesses and innovators in the heart of Manchester.

“The hundreds of talented colleagues at Co-op Digital who work with such passion are Mike’s greatest contribution.  Their work continues as our Co-op is totally committed to our digital journey and I know Mike will always be an advocate of the Co-op and will stay in touch.”

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