Rupert Newman

Source: Midcounties Co-op

Newman will take over responsibility for the £600m food retail business in the autumn

Midcounties Co-op has appointed ex-Sainsbury’s and Asda director Rupert Newman to the newly-created position of chief retail officer. 

Newman will take responsibility for the £600m food retail business, which operates 230 supermarkets and convenience stores, in the autumn.

The new chief retail officer has spent two decades in senior management roles with Sainsbury’s and Asda across the convenience and hypermarket sectors.

Most recently Newman was responsible for German-owned pharmaceutical giant Celesio’s £2.3bn UK sales operation.

“Our food retail business is the largest of our trading groups and I am delighted to have secured the services of a first-class retail professional,” said group chief executive Phil Ponsonby. “We have ambitious plans to grow our store estate and to continuing innovating, particularly with the further development of our award-winning Food Markets which are centred on exceptional service quality and regionally sourced product ranges.’’

Newman is the third appointment by Ponsonby to the executive team at Midcounties since he took over as group CEO last year.

Clare Moore has been appointed chief HR officer after leading the people function at Halfords, and Pete Westall has become chief values officer with responsibility for the society’s co-operative and ethical approach to business.