The Co-operative Group is advertising for a new chair and non-executive directors, using one of the world’s biggest executive recruitment agencies. Odgers Berndston bills the openings as “a unique opportunity to shape the future of one of the nation’s most iconic organisations”.
The Group is recruiting a completely new board, including independent non-executives to occupy the roles of chair, senior independent director, chair of audit and chair of remuneration.
The advert has already appeared in the UK press, including the Sunday Times and the Observer, and has been distributed globally through Odgers Berndston’s website and social media. It says: “The Group is looking for experienced boardroom professionals to accompany it on the journey to restore the Co-op. This will ensure the Co-op reconnects with its values, the communities it serves and will draw on all that is best in its 150 years of heritage of innovation and ethical retailing.”
Potential candidates need a track record as a director of an organisation of comparable size and complexity, the ability to contribute on commercial and social issues and “the highest standards of integrity that demonstrates empathy with the Co-op Values and Principles and a commitment to best in class governance and oversight.”
The advert says: “There are more member owners of co-ops than there are direct shareholders of businesses in the UK. A major contribution to this sector is made by the Co-operative Group, itself an organisation that employs approximately 87,000 people and last year recorded an annual revenue in excess of £10bn.
“Following the overwhelming approval of the Co-op’s members, the Group last weekend adopted a new rulebook that will herald a radical reform of the Group’s governance structure. That reform will introduce a professional board of 11 directors, the majority of whom will be independent non-executive directors, all under the guidance of an independent chair, for the first time in the Group’s history.
“This is a significant moment for the Co-op and marks the end of its rescue phase which began with the recapitalisation of its banking subsidiary in 2013.”
The closing date for applications is 5 October.