John Chillcott joins Co-operative College as interim CEO

Mr Chillcott will oversee key organisational operations during a transitional period

The Co-operative College has appointed John Chillcott as interim chief executive to assist the organisation during a key transitional period. 

Mr Chillcott was CEO of Anglia Regional Co-operative and led its successful merger with Midlands Co-operative to create Central England Co-operative. He is a current director at Central England and previously held a directorship at Co-operatives UK and a trustee directorship at the College.

The College, a member-based educational charity based founded in 1919, is based in Manchester, UK, but works internationally. It recently undertook a consultation to ascertain its best path forward. Mr Chillcott will oversee key organisational operations and will work closely with Dr Cilla Ross, who will remain as interim principal to focus on developing the College’s learning offer and educational partnerships.

“I’m excited to join the College at such an important moment and play a leading role in this transitional period,” said Mr Chillcott. “Throughout my time in the co-operative movement I’ve recognised how important education and training are for co-operatives and how as a model. Co-operatives can act as an extraordinary platform for individuals and communities to tackle the challenges they face.”

Dr Ross added: “These are challenging times for organisations and communities across the UK and around the world; however, it’s clear that education and learning will play a crucial role in the recovery. Co-operation has never been more relevant and needed, and a radical learning offer remains firmly at the heart of that.

“I’m extremely pleased that John has joined the College to assist with our transitional work and look forward to working closely with him.”

Together Mr Chillcott and Dr Ross will “work to lead the College to a sustainable future, implementing the outcomes of the College’s strategic review, undertaken during Summer 2020,” said a statement from the organisation. This will ensure the College “continues to serve both the existing and emerging co-operative movement, strengthening the growth of co-operation globally”.

Nigel Todd, chair of trustees, said: “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of John on an interim basis to lead us through a period of transition at the College. John’s experience will be invaluable as we look to position the College for the future and look forward to him working closely with Cilla and the full College team to navigate the challenges ahead.”