Source: Lincolnshire Co-op

Leach (l) will be joined by Paul Howard (r), who has been hired as chief financial officer 

Lincolnshire Co-op has hired former Nisa sales director Steve Leach as its new chief operating officer.

He will start his role at the society, which operates food stores, petrol stations, pharmacies, travel branches and funeral homes, in March, replacing acting COO Mark Finn.

Leach brings a breadth of retail leadership experience gained in M&S, Sainsbury’s, Boots, and Vodafone, as well as his role as sales director at Nisa for over three years. He was most recently interim chief operating officer at Vets Now.

“I’m delighted to be joining Lincolnshire Co-op to support the team in delivering the purpose of bringing together ideas, energy and resources to make life better in our local communities,” said Leach.

“I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities that the team are currently working on and transferring my leadership experience to continue this momentum into sustainable long-term success.”

He will be joined by Paul Howard, who is also joining the business’s executive team in March as the new chief financial officer

Replacing interim CFO Henry Breese, Howard joins from international fashion retailer Boohoo, where he has been head of supply chain finance for the past two years.

Prior to Boohoo, Howard progressed through the ranks at Wilko, at which he held senior finance roles across commercial finance, treasury, financial control and strategic planning, as well as a two-year stint in Hong Kong as finance director for the group’s sourcing office.

Howard said: “Lincolnshire Co-op has a strong purpose that resonates with my values – integrity, commitment and making a positive contribution. The breadth of the consumer proposition brings exciting challenges and lots of growth potential.

“I’m excited to join a business that’s rich in history and heritage and look forward to adding value from my experience in strategic financial planning.”

Lincolnshire Co-op CEO Alison Hands, who joined last year after her role as Wilko MD, said: “I’d like to thank Mark and Henry for their commitment and significant contribution during their time with us. They’ll continue to offer their support to us during the transition period and ensure a smooth handover.”