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Co-operative Group CEO Euan Sutherland offers to resign

Co-operative Group chief executive Euan Sutherland has reportedly written a resignation letter.


Co-operative Group CEO Euan Sutherland offers to resign

Co-operative Group chief executive Euan Sutherland has reportedly written a resignation letter.

The BBC has reported that Sutherland, who joined the group in May 2013, is thought to be “demoralised and fed up” and said in the letter that he believed the group was "ungovernable".

However, the broadcaster added that the letter could be regarded as a "back-me-or-sack-me move" although Sutherland "still may well resign."

The Co-operative Group's board has apparently agreed to restructure in an attempt to persuade Sutherland to stay. 

The news follows the group’s recent defence of a £3.6 million pay deal for Sutherland and the chief executive's statement on the group’s Facebook page after the pay deal was leaked.

Sutherland said: “We seem to have an individual, or individuals, determined to undermine me personally, my team and the rest of the group board regardless of the uncertainty and disruption this causes to our 90,000 colleagues and our supportive members.”

He added: “I wish I could promise you that this kind of occurrence will not happen again. You deserve to hear information in a proper, orderly and considered fashion. But we appear to have disaffected people who are determined to make life difficult and embarrassing for The Co-operative at a time when what we need most are professionalism and loyalty to the business.”

The news comes as The Co-operative Group is expected to reveal later this month that it made big losses last year. The losses will stem mainly from the group’s troubled bank where a £1.5 billion black hole was discovered.

It also follows a drugs scandal surrounding Paul Flowers, the bank’s former chairman.

Sutherland said last month that 2013 had been "perhaps the worst year" in The Co-operative Group’s history and that it had "lost its way".

Also last month, The Co-operative Group issued a call to the public to give their opinions on a range of issues that will help to shape the group’s future.

The online national survey, which closes on 24 March, invites the public to “Have Your Say” on issues such as how the group shares its profits, whether it should make political donations and what it could do to improve its goods and services. It is also asking what the group can do to help local communities.

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