New chief retail officer for Midcounties Co-op

Rupert Newman takes responsibility for Midcounties’ £600m food retail business, which operates 230 supermarkets and convenience stores

Midcounties Co-operative has appointed Rupert Newman as chief retail officer, a newly created role.

Mr Newman, who joins the society from German-owned pharmaceutical giant Celesio, has spent almost two decades in grocery retailing with Sainsbury’s and Asda, where he held various positions including regional managing director for convenience stores and senior management roles for hypermarket operations.

Rupert Newman
Mr Newman will take up his role this autumn

At Celesio he was responsible for its £2.3bn UK sales operation and has previously led retail projects for Alliance Boots. He will take full responsibility for Midcounties’ £600m food retail business, which operates 230 supermarkets and convenience stores.

Phil Ponsonby, group chief executive at Midcounties, said: “Our food retail business is the largest of our trading groups and I am delighted to have secured the services of a first-class retail professional.

“We have ambitious plans to grow our store estate and to continuing innovating, particularly with the further development of our award-winning food markets which are centred on exceptional service quality and regionally sourced product ranges.

“Rupert has the operational and leadership track record to build on our recent successes and continue the growth and development of our food business.”

Mr Ponsonby took over as group CEO last year. He has also appointed Clare Moore as chief HR officer after leading the people function at Halfords and Pete Westall as chief values officer with responsibility for the society’s co-operative and ethical approach to business.

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