Group and CFS join management structures

The Co-operative Group has announced that, from January 1st, Co-operative Financial Services and the society’s trading businesses will come together in a new structure as part of the...

Describing the development as “long overdue,” Chair Len Wardle emphasised the need to promote and increase cross-selling between the different Group businesses, including all the component parts of CFS.

Mr Wardle said the moves were designed to underpin the Group’s renaissance and were “a logical next step” in terms of the unification of the businesses. 

He told the News: “Over the last three years we have transformed the Group, both commercially and co-operatively. We have doubled our sales and profits and increased our investment in supporting our social goals. 

“We are now going a stage further, with this long overdue coming together of our trading and financial services businesses. The progress we make over the next few years in unifying our brand by creating and promoting opportunities for our members to trade across all of our businesses is of critical importance to the Group’s continuing growth and prosperity.

“We haven’t been good enough at this in the past, but we will be in future.”

As part of the restructure, CFS Chief Executive Neville Richardson will report to Group Chief Executive Peter Marks and Mr Richardson plus Martyn Wates — currently Group Chief Financial Officer — will become joint Deputy Group Chief Executives.

Commented Mr Marks: “These changes will help us deliver our plans to grow the Group and serve our members and customers even better. We already have almost six million members, double the number we had three years ago. But, it’s still 14 million less than where I want us to be in ten years time. 

“We’ve got a 20:20 vision for our membership strategy — 20 million members by 2020 — and are really excited by the opportunities our unique 

co-operative difference offers us. 

“The members are the life blood of this business, and we need to serve them even better than we have been doing. We need to be more focused, and we need to develop products and services which encourage them to cross-trade and, by doing so, benefit from the dividend they will accrue. This is our fundamental role.”

As a result of the coming together of the trading businesses and CFS, there will be a restructure of the Group’s Executive. 

The new team, reporting directly to Mr Marks, will be: Martyn Wates, Chief Executive — Specialist Businesses and Deputy Group Chief Executive; Neville Richardson, Chief Executive — CFS and Deputy Group Chief Executive; Tim Hurrell, Chief Executive — Food; Richard Bide, Director of HR; Martyn Hulme, Managing Director Estates; Mark Craig, Director of Corporate Affairs; Moira Lees, Group Secretary, who also reports to the Group Chair; and Stephen Humes, who steps up from Director of Finance in Food to Group Chief Financial Officer, replacing Martyn Wates. A new Director of Marketing is currently being recruited. 

Reporting to Mr Wates will be the new Specialist Businesses Executive comprising: Mike Austin, Managing Director, Specialist Commercial Businesses; Neil Braithwaite, Managing Director, Specialist Retail Businesses; John Nuttall, Managing Director, Pharmacy and George Tinning, Managing Director, Funerals. Mr Tinning replaces David Hendry, who becomes non-executive Chair of Funeralcare.

Reporting to Neville Richardson will be the CFS Executive comprising: Keith Alderson, Managing Director, Corporate and Business Banking; Rod Bulmer, Managing Director, Retail; Mike Fairbairn, Director of Risk; Tim Franklin, Chief Operating Officer; Phil Lee, Integration and Change Director; Karen Moir, Director of Organisation Development, and Barry Tootell, Chief Financial Officer.

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