Mark Yeo is set to replace Alan Godfrey as the general manager of Leeds Co-operative's food division.

He joins the society from his position of stores manager at Iceland Foods and will now take responsibility for Leeds Co-operative's 21 food stores.

He began his retail career with Yorkshire-based Hillards as a trainee in its Lincolnshire branches, where he held a variety of managerial positions. He continued to manage the branches when Tesco bought the 40-strong chain.

In 1992 he moved to Iceland Foods as store development director, where he had national responsibility for 750 stores and five regional managers.

Yeo, who is also a former Olympic-class swordsman, said he was attracted to the Leeds Co-operative because it fitted with his own personal values. He added: "It's not just about retailing. Most of its principals are geared around helping the community and being part of it and that's what gives it its strength."