Paul Myners has been appointed as the Co-operative Group’s first independent director, and will also act as Chair of the Governance Review into the society.
Labour’s former City Minister and life peer, Lord Myners has joined the Group board immediately and will earn £1 a year for his role.
Two additional independent non-executive directors are expected to be appointed, according to the Group, which said in a statement that it will “further enhance the mix of skills and experience” of its board.
Lord Myners, a former Chair of Marks & Spencer, said the society is at a “crucial point in its development” that has a “proud history”. He added: “Right now it faces serious challenges in terms of business performance and ensuring that the right governance is in place to deliver in the interests of all its members and customers.”
His remit as Chair of the Governance Review will be to look in-depth at the co-operative’s democracy and to investigate how the Board is constituted and chaired. Commented Lord Myners: “Together we will make sure the Co-operative Group can realise its significant potential and properly capitalise on the huge opportunities ahead.”
Lord Myners is the former Chairman of the Low Pay Commission and previously undertook a review on governance of mutuals for the Treasury.
Co-operative Group Chair Ursula Lidbetter said the appointment “marks a significant strengthening of our ranks”. She added: “We have made it clear that we need to modernise and to embed the very best standards of corporate governance – while also ensuring that the voices of all our members and customers resonate through the business. Paul is ideally placed to oversee that work given his extensive experience across business and public life.”
Euan Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Group, added: “He brings significant and valuable experience across a number of fields and will be a great asset as we work through the final stages of the recapitalisation of the Bank and move to take the wider Group to the next phase of its development.”