Co-op Group secretary and general counsel to retire

Helen Grantham ‘has always been a strong voice for co-operation and our unique way of doing business’, says chair Allan Leighton

Helen Grantham, secretary and general counsel at the Co-op Group, is to retire at the end of July, after a 35-year career.

Qualifying as a solicitor in 1989, she worked as a general counsel and company secretary for businesses including Dixons Carphone, before joining the Group six years ago, working closely with the board and joining the executive team.

Chair Allan Leighton said in a message to colleages: “She has always been a strong voice for co-operation and our unique way of doing business – helping us to ensure our values and principles are at the heart of our decision making and ensuring the voice of members is heard.”

Thanking her for “all that she has done in supporting me in my role”, Mr Leighton said Ms Grantham had worked closely with the Group’s board and with its council presidents, and has been part of its executive team.

“Her values have been very much aligned with our own,” he added.

Ms Grantham will now be concentrating on the not-for-profit sector, continuing with her volunteering roles as a council member at the University of Leeds and chair of the Yorkshire and North East Region Advisory Board of the Canal and River Trust, as well as spending much more time with her husband, Chris, and walking her dog, Walter.

Mr Leighton announced that Dominic Kendal-Ward replace Ms Grantham.

Mr Kendal-Ward has been working at the Group for give years, joining as general counsel at the insurance business and has progressively taking on a wider role – looking after Life Services business and then taking on the additional role of deputy secretary.

“He has built a sound knowledge of co-op governance,” said Mr Leighton. “I am sure he will continue to champion our Co-op, our values and our members in his new role. Helen and Dom have already been working closely to ensure a smooth transition and this will continue over the next few months.“