Former joint managing director of Marks and Spencer Guy McCracken will step in to head The Co-op’s 1,700-strong chain of food outlets on May 23.
An as yet unnamed major European retailer has poached McGettigan, who said the offer was too good to turn down.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make and it saddens me to be leaving The Co-operative Group,” said McGettigan. “During my time
heading up food retail, I have been struck by the enormous potential of this brand and the commitment of the group’s management team to overcoming the business’s short-term difficulties.”
McGettigan started his career at BWG Group, then moved to Irish Sewing and distributor JV McDaniel before joining Musgrave in 1990. He became Musgrave UK executive chairman in 2002 following the Irish company’s acquisition of Budgens. Last July, he made the £60m deal to acquire Londis.
McCracken was with M&S from 1975 to 2000 and became a director in 1990. He led the food business from 1993 to 1998, and was appointed joint MD in 1994. He is also a former chairman of Duchy Originals. He is currently a director of the McCracken Rowe Consultancy.