The Co-op’s food boss Jo Whitfield will step away from the business for four months late this year in order to “support her family”.

jo whitfield

Jo Whitfield

Whitfield will stand aside in May, with Co-op Group chief executive Steve Murrells taking on day-to-day responsibility for its convenience food division.

The Co-op said Whitfield would be stepping away for a short time to “support her family”, with Whitfield adding she would be supporting her sons through their exams. 

Whitfield said: “I always knew that this year would be a big year with my boys undertaking key exams. We decided as a family, that in order to prepare for the inevitable pressure and emotional turmoil that would involve, when the time came, I would look to spend more time with them to ease the challenge.  

“I can take this time away reassured by the knowledge we have a strong food leadership team who will keep moving our Co-op forward, working with support and guidance from Steve Murrells, our Co-op CEO.”

Murrells said: “We will miss Jo and wish her and her family well over the coming months.”

Whitfield joined the Co-op in 2016 and was promoted to retail chief executive in 2017. Prior to joining the Co-op, Whitfield worked for Asda for eight years.

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