Co-op CEO "offers resignation"

Co-op CEO "offers resignation"

Euan Sutherland, the chief executive of The Co-operative Group, has reportedly offered his resignation in a "back me or sack me" move in response to a high-profile debate about his 2014 pay agreement.

According to reports, Sutherland has written a letter of resignation to the Co-op's board after accusing an unnamed board member of leaking information on his GBP3.6m (US$5.98m) pay deal yesterday (10 March). Sutherland will reportedly receive a base salary of GBP1.5m this year, plus a GBP1.5m retention payment, pension contributions and a contribution for buying him out of his previous contract with DIY retailer Kingfisher.

The pay deal has attracted criticism, not least because the Co-op is expected to report massive losses of GBP2bn later this month, linked to the collapse of its banking arm.

"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," Sutherland retorted on the Co-op's workers' Facebook page.

According to the BBC, Co-op board members are attempting to dissuade Sutherland from leaving the mutual retailer. He took up the post of chief executive last May.

A spokesperson for the company was unable to either confirm or deny the reports at time of press.