ONE of the retail Movement's best-known personalities has announced his retirement after a Co-op career spanning almost 45 years.
Midlands Co-op Chief Executive Willie Tucker is to be succeeded later this year by the society's current Chief General Manager John Fitzgerald.
Mr Tucker, a director of the Co-operative Group since 1989 and former director of both the Co-operative Bank and CIS, joined the old Central Midlands Society in 1991 as Chief Executive.
Following the merger with Leicestershire Society in 1995, he became Chief General Manager of Midlands Society and was appointed Chief Executive after the retirement of fellow Scot Len (now Lord) Fyfe in September 2000.
Mr Tucker's career began with Port Glasgow United Co-op in 1960 and progressed through service with Milton Keynes and Ilkeston societies before he joined Central Midlands.
In 1992, Mr Tucker was one of only four founder members of CRTG (Co-operative Retail Trading Group), which now covers the entire Movement's food buying and marketing.
A former chairman of CIS, he is currently chairman of the Co-operative Travel Trading Group, the £ 1.2 billion travel-buying group acting on behalf of over 90 per cent of the Movement's travel trade.
Commenting on his forthcoming retirement ? the precise date of which has yet to be determined ? Mr Tucker said: `I have been immensely privileged to have spent the whole of my working life with the Co-operative Movement and to have been actively involved in so many different parts of it.`
His successor, 52-year-old John Fitzgerald, joined Midlands Co-op in 1998. His career in retail began in the early 1970s when he held a series of positions with Safeway.
Between 1979-84 he was a district manager for Safeway in the east of Scotland. He joined the Co-operative Movement in 1984, as Retail Controller of Oxford and Swindon Co-op (later Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Society).
John, who is married with two children, lives in the Oxfordshire area and lists golf and gardening amongst his hobbiess.
Added Mr Tucker: `It is now time to move on and I am very pleased that the directors of Midlands Society have appointed John Fitzgerald to succeed me. I am sure John will take the society forward to even greater success in the future.`
Said Mr Fitzgerald: `I feel privileged to succeed Willie Tucker at the helm of Midlands Society and have enjoyed working alongside him since 1998. Much of the society's success can be attributed to Willie's innovation, forward thinking and sound management.
`I am looking forward to my new role immensely.`
In this article
- British co-operative movement
- chief executive
- Co-operative Retail Trading Group
- General Manager
- Human Interest
- John Fitzgerald
- Leicestershire Society
- Midcounties Co-operative
- Midlands Co-operative Society
- Midlands Society
- Milton Keynes
- Port Glasgow United Co
- Retail Trading Group
- Scot Len
- Social Issues
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Group
- The Co-operative Travel
- United Co-operatives
- Willie Tucker