The Co-operative Group has named Euan Sutherland as its man to replace group chief executive Peter Marks who is set to retire in May.

Sutherland is currently COO at home improvement retailer Kingfisher plc. Prior to that he was chairman of B&Q and CEO of Kingfisher UK & Ireland.

He is familiar with the Co-op as a non-executive director of its Food board and is also a non-exec at SuperGroup.

“He brings with him considerable experience of the strategic leadership needed in complex customer-facing businesses, across a variety of retail sectors, and we very much look forward to welcoming him and working together,” said Co-operative Group chair Len Wardle.

Sutherland said: “To Co-operative is a great brand and I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to lead the organisation at this important time. The challenge is to build upon the success that has been achieved in recent years and the solid foundations that have been laid for its future growth.”

He joins at a difficult time for the movement.  Last month members took to Facebook to express their disappointment after receiving a lower than expected dividend payout. The reduction came after the group reported a 34% slump in operating profits to £174m in the six months to 30 June.