The Co-operative Group has reshuffled its executive team as it vies to “revitalise” the organisation.
Interim chief executive Richard Pennycook will move to the newly created role of chief operating officer when a permanent replacement for Euan Sutherland is found. Sutherland resigned from the group chief executive post last week.
Pennycook will be in charge of finance, procurement, IT, risk and transformation delivery when he takes up the new role, which will be on the management committee. The group is searching for an interim chief operating officer while Pennycook fills the interim chief executive role.
Chief executive of retail Steve Murrells, who is in charge of food, pharmacy, farms and E-Store, will now take responsibility for property and estates.
Martyn Hulme, managing director of Co-operative Estates, will report to Murrells.
The group also revealed it will delay the publication of its full year results, which former chief executive Euan Sutherland warned would be “ugly”, from next week until April 17.
The raft of top team changes include former deputy chief executive at The Co-operative Bank Rod Bulmer regioning the group in June as chief executive of consumer services looking after general insurance, funeral care and legal services.
General counsel Alistair Asher will now have the company secretarial and governance teams report into him.
Chief external affairs officer Nick Folland is adding responsibility for all aspects of membership and social goals to his existing responsibilities for internal and external communications. Marketing director Gill Barr will now report to Folland.
Lloyds Banking Group group secretary Claire Davies has been appointed to the same role at The Co-operative and will work closely with Asher in the running of the group board and committees. She will report in to group chair Ursula Lidbetter.
HR director Sam Walker will become chief HR Officer and joins the management executive succeeding Rebecca Skitt, who has now left the business.
Strategy director Paula Kerrigan joins the management executive as chief strategy officer. Martyn Hulme, Gill Barr and Andy Haywood will give up their positions on the management executive but will continue to oversee their respective functions.
Director of Co-operative relations Mark Craig will leave the group after more than 30 years.
Meanwhile, Mark Summerfield has been appointed managing director of The Co-operative Banking Group, where he will run the general insurance business as well as overseeing work to separate the group from The Co-operative Bank.
Pennycook said: “I am pleased to be announcing these changes to our management team, which mean we are better positioned to tackle the complex issues we face.
“We are focused on the hard work needed to complete the development of our new strategy. This is the right team to deliver that strategy in the interests of all our stakeholders - customers, colleagues and members.”