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Co-Op restructure: Who are the new Co-Op food and Nisa bosses?

After the recent announcement’s made by symbol group retailer The Co-op Food and its convenience arm Nisa that both their CEO’s are stepping down from their positions, we find out more about who the business has chosen to succeed the departing duo.

Jo Whitfield, the CEO of the Co-op’s food arm, announced she is stepping down from the position after just five years at the helm, being replaced by Matt Hood, former commercial director of the symbol group retailer.

The move comes months after Whitfield made the decision to take a break to spend more time with family.

Initially, announcing a four month break as her teenage sons were undergoing “pivotal academic exams“, it was announced CEO Steve Murrells will be overseeing the day-to-day operations of Co-op Food.

Co-op Allan Leighton said: “Jo has decided that this is the right time to move on and pursue her next challenge.”

“During her time with us, Jo has led a re-invention of our Food business. She always put colleagues first and championed colleague safety. She leaves the Co-op with our warmest wishes and deepest thanks for everything she has delivered for our colleagues, members and customers.”

As a result of the departure of the former Asda VP, Hood will now be the new managing director of Co-op Food, being responsible for both its commercial and operational areas of the business.

Hood joined the convenience supermarket chain in October 2012. At the business he has held positions of head of commercial of chilled produce and later being promoted to trading director of fresh food.

Prior to the Co-op, he held multiple senior positions at Big 4 grocer Tesco, which included, senior buying manager of dairy produce and most recently he held the position of sourcing director of MFP/chilled and frozen.

Commenting on his new appointment, Hood said on LinkedIn: “I’m Incredibly proud to be asked to be the new managing director of our Co-op Food business.

“It’s a huge opportunity to continue to grow and improve this amazing organisation for our customers and members as well as championing our tireless colleagues who serve all our communities day in, day out.”

Hood added: “In conjunction with the superb retail talent I have around me and the continued support of all our partners and suppliers I’m excited to see how we further build on on our market leading, multi channel convenience offer.

“It goes without saying I owe a massive amount of thanks to Jo Whitfield for her enormous support and guidance over the years, and hope I can do justice to the platform the likes of her and Steve Murrells have created for this historic organisation.”

However, Whitfield is not the only head leaving the company.

On the same day, the CEO of the Co-op’s convenience channel Nisa, Michael Fletcher, announced his retirement from the company, a position he held for just over eight months.

He will be leaving next month to pursue a new career path. Before heading up Nisa, Fletcher was the chief commercial officer of the Co-op a position he held since November 2013. He was also apart of the commercial team at Big 4 grocer Tesco.

According Shirine Khoury-Haq, who was recently appointed to the position of CEO, Fletcher “leaves behind a huge legacy”.

As a result, Peter Batt, who is the divisional managing director of the Co-op Group, will take over from Fletcher with immediate effect to allow a smooth handover.

He has held that position for over seven years, having joined from Big 4 grocer Sainsbury’s.

At the supermarket giant, he held senior positions which included regional operations manager, frozen foods category manager, produce category manager and most recently regional managing director.

“Peter has extensive experience in retail and trading, having been our divisional managing director in the South, and brings with him both commercial and operational experience from his roles outside of Co-op,” Khoury-Haq added.

Source: Grocery Gazette

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