UK retailer The Co-operative Group has appointed Kingfisher executive Euan Sutherland as its new CEO. 

Sutherland, 43, will take up the role in May next year, the UK's fifth largest grocer said today (19 December). Sutherland, COO at home improvement retailer Kingfisher, owner of B&Q stores, will replace Peter Marks, who announced his retirement from the business this summer.

Sutherland is also an existing non-executive director of the Co-op's food board, which should enable him to hit the ground running  as the group seeks to navigate an increasingly competitive food retail sector, as well as build a bridgehead in high street banking.

"The challenge is to build upon the success that has been achieved in recent years and the solid foundations that have been laid," said Sutherland. 

The Co-op's chairman, Ken Wardle, added: "He brings with him considerable experience of the strategic leadership needed in complex customer-facing businesses, across a variety of retail sectors." 

In August, following news of Marks' planned retirement, Conlumino analyst Joseph Robinson called for a "step-change" in investment at the Co-op. He said it was needed for it to remain competitive with larger grocers, particularly Tesco and Sainsbury's, which continue to move into the Co-op's convenience heartland.

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The Co-operative Group announces Euan Sutherland as its new Group Chief Executive

December 19, 2012

The Board of The Co-operative Group announces that Euan Sutherland will become its new Group Chief Executive in May next year, following the retirement of Peter Marks.

Euan Sutherland (43) is currently Group Chief Operating Officer, Kingfisher plc. Prior to that he was Chairman of B&Q and CEO of Kingfisher UK & Ireland. Mr Sutherland is also a non-executive director of The Co-operative Group’s Food Board, and a non-executive director of SuperGroup.  

Commenting on the appointment, Len Wardle, Chair of The Co-operative Group said:

“I am delighted that Euan is to be The Co-operative Group’s next Group Chief Executive. He brings with him considerable experience of the strategic leadership needed in complex customer-facing businesses, across a variety of retail sectors, and we very much look forward to welcoming him and working together."

Euan Sutherland said:

“The Co-operative is a great brand and I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to lead the organisation at this important time. The challenge is to build upon the success that has been achieved in recent years and the solid foundations that have been laid for its future growth."

 

Original source: The Co-operative Group