Executive management reshuffle at the Co-operative Group

A change to the Co-operative Group’s management will see Rod Bulmer, the former deputy chief executive of the Co-operative Bank, join the executive team. Rod Bulmer, who oversaw...

A change to the Co-operative Group’s management will see Rod Bulmer, the former deputy chief executive of the Co-operative Bank, join the executive team.

Rod Bulmer, who oversaw the Bank’s capital management exercise and announced his intention in September to leave the Bank this year, will join the Group executive in June as chief executive for consumer services. In this newly-created role, he will have responsibility for general insurance, Funeralcare and legal services.

The shake-up of the executive management team, will “ensure the delivery of the first phase of the Group’s purpose and strategy and start the important work of revitalising the organisation”, according to a statement issued by the society.

Steve Murrells, chief executive for retail, will maintain responsibility for food, pharmacy, farms and e-store but will also take responsibility for property and estates. Martyn Hulme, managing director Co-operative Estates, will report to Mr Murrells.

Alistair Asher retains his current role as general counsel, along with his seat on the Bank board and his chairmanship of Co-operative Legal Services. Additionally, the company secretarial and governance teams will report into Mr Asher.

Nick Folland, chief external affairs officer, is adding responsibility for all aspects of membership and social goals to his existing responsibilities for internal and external communications. Gill Barr, marketing director, will now report to Mr Folland.

Claire Davies has been appointed as group secretary, joining the business from Lloyds Banking Group. She will work closely with Alistair Asher and will report to Ursula Lidbetter, group chair, in the running of the Group board and its committees.

Sam Walker, previously HR director group functions, has been appointed as chief HR officer and joins the management executive. She succeeds Rebecca Skitt, who has left the business.

Paula Kerrigan joins the management executive as chief strategy officer and will continue to develop the Group’s purpose and strategy.

A new management executive role of chief operating officer will also be created, overseeing finance/procurement, IT, risk and transformation delivery. Richard Pennycook, interim chief exeucutive, will assume this role once a permanent chief executive has been appointed. The Group has started the search for an interim chief operating officer. While this search progresses, Mr Pennycook will maintain responsibility for these functions. Andy Haywood, chief information officer, will report to Mr Pennycook .

Mark Craig, director of co-operative relations, will be leaving the Group after more than 30 years. Martyn Hulme, Gill Barr and Andy Haywood will give up their positions on the management executive, but will continue to oversee their respective functions.

In a further change, Mark Summerfield has been appointed managing director of the Co-operative Banking Group. In that role he will run the general insurance business as well as overseeing the ongoing work to separate the Group from the Co-operative Bank.

Richard Pennycook said: “I am pleased to be announcing these changes to our management team, which mean we are better positioned to tackle the complex issues we face. We are focused on the hard work needed to complete the development of our new strategy. This is the right team to deliver that strategy in the interests of all our stakeholders – customers, colleagues and members.”

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