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Co-operative Group appoints new non-exec directors

The Co-operative Group has appointed two new independent non-executive directors as it looks to change the composition of board as part of its constitutional reforms.


Co-operative Group appoints new non-exec directors

In the first appointment, Sir Christopher Kelly has joined the board with immediate effect and will assist in recruiting the new board which is expected to be fully operational by May 2015.

Kelly chaired the independent review which considered the events leading up to the re-capitalisation plan for The Co-operative Bank in 2013. A former senior official in HM Treasury and permanent secretary of the Department of Health, he currently chairs the King’s Fund and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board and previously chaired the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the NSPCC.

In the second appointment, Simon Burke will join the transitional group board as an independent non-executive director for the transitional period, which ends in May 2015. He is a previous independent non-executive director of the group’s principal subsidiary, Co-operative Food Holdings, and is a former chair of both Bathstore and Hobbycraft. He is currently also a non-executive director for The BBC.

Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of The Co-operative Group, said: “We are delighted to be able to strengthen our Board with the appointment of Sir Christopher Kelly and Simon Burke as independent non-executive directors, both of whom have already made significant contributions to The Co-operative Group and fully understand the challenges and opportunities we face.

“Sir Christopher’s recent report into The Co-operative Bank was detailed and incisive and was instrumental in helping us move on by learning from the mistakes of the past. His deep experience of finance, public policy and governance mean that he is ideally suited to the new role of senior independent non-executive director.

“Simon likewise has a rich understanding and appreciation of the group following his time on The Food Board and his extensive business acumen and experience will be a major asset for the main board.

“We are confident that these appointments, along with others that are currently under consideration, will help us to rebuild The Co-operative Group and restore it to its rightful place at the heart of communities across the UK.”

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