Ali Kurji to retire as Heart of England CEO after 42 years with the society

‘It’s been a very special part of my life, but the time is right for me to pass on the baton’

Heart of England Co-op’s chief executive, Ali Kurji, is to retire next autumn after 42 years’ service, including nearly 20 at the helm.

He is one of the longest serving members of staff in an organisation employing in the region of 750 people across the society. 

Kurji announced his retirement at a board meeting last month, but will remain in charge until the end of September 2024.

“The fact that I have spent four wonderful decades with the society and have gone past my normal retirement date shows just how much I have treasured my time here,” he said.

“It’s been a very special part of my life, but the time is right for me to pass on the baton. Until then, however, it will be business as usual, and my focus will remain on growth and investment.”

Clive Miles and Nick Matthews, joint presidents of the society’s board of directors, said: “On behalf of the board and the staff, we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Ali who has guided the society through some momentous challenges, such as the Covid pandemic, Brexit, the credit crunch and the continuing cost of living crisis. 

“It is rare in this day and age for someone to dedicate so much of their working life to one organisation. The society has flourished and grown under his leadership, and he will leave a lasting imprint.” 

Related: End of year Q&A: Ali Kurji, CEO, Heart of England Co-op

The board will shortly start the process of finding a successor from within or outside the co-operative movement and have appointed executive search firm, Green Park Ltd based at 4th Floor, Partnership House, Carlisle Place, London, SW1P 1BX.

Anyone interested in the position should apply directly through Green Park Ltd.