The Co-operative Group has appointed two independent directors to bolster the board of its food subsidiary.

Euan Sutherland, chief executive of Kingfisher UK, and John Longworth, former board director of Asda and Tesco, and currently working in the healthcare sector, will take up their positions on the food board.

The move follows a review of the group’s governance which identified a role for independent directors, and which last year established two subsidiary boards, one in food, and one in specialist business operations.

It has also appointed two independent directors to its specialist business subsidiary board – Penny Coates, managing director of East Midlands Airport, and Mike Cutt, who has held human resources directorships at Boots, B&Q and Thomas Cook.

The chair of the Co-operative Group Board, Len Wardle, said:  “We are delighted to welcome these seasoned professionals who will bring to us a wealth of experience operating at very senior levels within some of the UK’s biggest and most well known businesses.

“They will bring invaluable independent advice to the group and its diverse businesses as we continue to build on our successes as a major force in UK retailing.”