Martin Beaumont, chief executive officer of the Co-operative Group, is to retire in October 2007.

Beaumont has been chief executive for the past five years, during which time the group has modernised and realigned its portfolio.

He said: “While we have had to take some difficult decisions to get to where we are today, it has been a privilege and immensely rewarding to have led the group through a proud period of change.”

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