We are announcing today that Steve Murrells is to be our new Group CEO and that Richard Pennycook will leave us after a short transition. You can read the public announcement which records our deep appreciation to Richard for his role in saving and rebuilding the Co-op, and our congratulations to Steve on his new role.
I’d like to set out how the handover will work and one or two other changes to our Executive. Richard will begin the transition to Steve straight away and Steve will join the Group Board at its next meeting on 1 March. Richard will leave the Board at the same meeting, but will continue as an advisor to the Board, focusing primarily on the Group’s relationship with the Co-operative Bank.
Steve Murrells has done a brilliant job to turnaround the Food business and as CEO of the Group will lead the completion of the Rebuild phase and, equally importantly, the creation of the Renewal plan. As previously announced, to support the development of the plan, Rod Bulmer is now the Director in charge of Renewal planning. Richard Lancaster joined the Group Executive in the New Year to lead the combined Funeralcare and Legal Services business.
Pippa Wicks becomes Deputy CEO, supporting Steve. In addition to her current responsibilities she will oversee the transformation of our Insurance business with Mark Summerfield reporting to her.
We will begin a search for a new CEO for the Food business but I’m delighted that in the meantime Jo Whitfield, who is the Finance Director on the Food Exec, has agreed to lead the team. Jo will do this on an interim basis but will very much be in the mix for taking the role more permanently.
Please join me in thanking Richard for his contribution to the Co-op and wishing Steve, Pippa and Jo great success in their new roles.
Chair of our Co-op