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COO role for Co-Op’s Pennycook and annual report delayed

THE CO-OPERATIVE has announced interim CEO Richard Pennycook will take on a chief operating officer role in the future, and that the group is delaying publication of its annual report by two weeks.

CFO Pennycook (pictured) took on the interim CEO role earlier this month after Euan Sutherland quit the business after reported problems with the Co-op’s board. However, now it appears that the company has created an elevated role for Pennycook when he relinquishes the CEO position.

The company said Pennycook will undertake a new management executive role that will oversee finance, procurement, IT, risk and the transformation delivery once a permanent CEO is found. However, Pennycook will have responsibility for both the COO and CEO roles until a replacement for Sutherland is found.

The company has also pushed back the publication of its annual results to 17 April, from 26 March.

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.”

The Co-operative announced several management changes to the executive team, including a new MD for the Co-op Bank, Mark Summerfield. He will run the general insurance business and oversee the ongoing work to separate the business from The Co-operative Bank.

Summerfield has been at the company for ten years, in roles such as CEO of the Asset management division and before that CEO of the insurance society, divested to Royal London group.

Martyn Hulme, managing director of Co-Operative estates; Gill Barr, marketing director; and chief information officer Andy Haywood will all relinquish their management executive positions but will continue with their respective responsibilities.

There were other changes to the management team, including Rod Bulmer taking a management executive role as CEO of consumer services, having previously been deputy CEO of the co-operative bank.

The company’s annual meeting is due to be held on 17 May at which members will hear details of the group’s strategy review. Details of proposed reforms will be put to a vote at a special general meeting, with a date due later this year.

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