Leadership changes at Co-op Group as food chief Jo Whitfield resigns

'She leaves the Co-op with our warmest wishes and deepest thanks for everything she has delivered for our colleagues, members and customers'

The Co-op Group has announced a new leadership structure for its convenience and wholesale operations.  

The announcement comes as Food CEO Jo Whitfield revealed her decision to leave the business, after five years in the role, and six years overall at the Group.

Matt Hood, former commercial director at the Group, will become managing director of Co-op Food, responsible for both the commercial and operational areas of the business. 

Michael Fletcher who has led the Group-owned wholesale arm Nisa, is also stepping down from his role and Peter Batt, a former managing director of Co-op’s regional stores in the south, has been appointed managing director of Nisa.   

Group chair Allan Leighton said: “Jo has decided that this is the right time to move on and pursue her next challenge.  

“During her time with us, Jo has led a re-invention of our Food business. She always put colleagues first and championed colleague safety. She leaves the Co-op with our warmest wishes and deepest thanks for everything she has delivered for our colleagues, members and customers.” 

CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq said: “I wish to express my thanks to Jo for all that she has achieved and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her career. 

“I am delighted to announce that Matt is our new managing director of Co-op Food with both the commercial and operational areas reporting into him and he will ensure we remain leaders in convenience.  We have an incredibly strong team, an established position to build from and the hunger and opportunity to achieve so much more in the years ahead. “ 

She added: “Michael Fletcher is also leaving his role as Nisa CEO in early October and will then pursue a new career path, supporting multiple businesses.  He leaves behind a huge legacy.  

“Peter Batt will take over from Michael with immediate effect to allow a managed handover with Michael. Peter has extensive experience in retail and trading, having been our divisional managing director in the south, and brings with him both commercial and operational experience from his roles outside of Co-op.   

“I have the upmost confidence that Peter will hit the ground running to support our Nisa partners.” 

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