Richard Pennycook latest exec to fuel Co-op top team

Pennycook moves from Morrisons after eight years as FD

Morrisons’ highly rated finance director Richard Pennycook is set to move across to The Co-operative Group as the society continues to look beyond The Co-op movement for new hires.

Pennycook, described as “exceptional” by Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips, announced last June that he would leave Morrisons after eight years as FD. He joins the Co-op as group FD on an interim basis on 1 July.

He is the latest in a string of new appointments as the society looks to fill its management team with execs offering strong experience at high-profile businesses outside the co-op movement in a bid to reverse falling sales. It appointed Niall Booker, group MD and CEO of HSBC North America, as CEO of its troubled Co-operative Bank last week. He will also be deputy CEO of the Co-op Group.

CEO Euan Sutherland, who officially joined the society in April, was previously chief operating officer of Kingfisher.

Its food business has also seen a string of hires. Following the appointment of former Tulip UK boss Steve Murrells as food CEO in September last year, it has lured Andrew Mann from Sainsbury’s, Ian Martin and CJ Antal Smith from Asda, Matt Hood from Tesco and Howard Reed, who has also worked at Asda, from New Look.

The society has also named Richard Pym, former group CEO of Alliance & Leicester as chair of the Co-op Banking Group and Co-op Bank.

“Pennycook and Pym bring valuable experience and will be great assets as we reposition our bank and take the wider group to the next phase,” said Co-op Group chairman Len Wardle.”Together with Sutherland and Booker, we now have a formidable top team with exceptional financial, strategic and operational expertise across retail and financial services.”

Pennycook said: “With its strong brand and loyal customer base, the group is entirely positioned to address the challenges it now faces. I look forward to helping the Co-op Group realise its significant potential.”