Former Co-op food chief Jo Whitfield is frontrunner to head up Matalan
Jo Whitfield, the former chief executive of Co-op’s food business, has emerged as the frontrunner to head up Matalan.
According to a report by Sky News, she is in detailed talks with Matalan’s new owners about taking over the chief executive role. It is also understood that Nigel Oddy, Matalan’s interim chief executive, is in the running for the position.
Whitfield worked with Co-op for over six years until 2022 and was chief executive of food from 2017. Prior to that, she held various senior positions at Asda and also previously worked with Matalan as head of finance/financial controller for six years from 2002.
In January, Matalan was acquired by a group of lenders that included Invesco, Man GLG, Tresidor and Napier Park. The new owners immediately agreed to reduce the company’s gross debt and inject up to £100 million into the business. However, the acquisition resulted in Matalan founder John Hargreaves losing control of the company he founded in 1985.
Matalan employs around 11,000 people and operates 230 stores.
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