The Co-op has appointed former Tesco executive Matt Atkinson as its new chief membership officer.

Atkinson, who will start working with the Co-op “in the next couple of weeks” before joining full-time in January, will be responsible for the mutual’s membership, digital, data, brand marketing, communications, community and campaigning functions.

He previously spent four years at Tesco, joining as group marketing and chief digital officer in September 2011, before becoming chief marketing officer at the start of 2013.

Atkinson moved to Saga as chief marketing officer in October 2015, helping to transform its digital strategy.

His appointment comes just over a year after the Co-op launched a new membership scheme, which gives members a 5% reward on all purchases of Co-op own-brand products and services, while a further 1% of their spend is given to charitable causes close to their local store.

Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells said: “I’m delighted to welcome Matt to our Co-op to help us on our journey to become the most loved membership business in the UK.

“Our new membership is now a year old and in the first half of our financial year paid back £35m to members and their local communities.

“Matt’s experience and expertise will build on this, making membership even more compelling and returning our Co-op to a campaigning movement.”