Co-op appoints Debbie White as new chair

The Co-op has appointed Debbie White as its new chair to take over the role from Allan Leighton, who will be stepping down in February 2024.

White has previously held a series of senior roles, including group chief executive of Interserve and global CEO for healthcare and government at Sodexo.

More recently, she held a number of non-executive roles, including senior independent director at Spire Healthcare Group, Howden Joinery Group and PAVmed.

White is expected to join the board as an independent non-executive director in August, before taking on the role early next year.

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Chair Allan Leighton said: “Debbie is the ideal person to take our Co-op forwards over the coming years. She has extensive business experience across a range of sectors and I’m personally delighted that she will join us at this exciting time, as our Co-op focuses on recruiting a million new members and providing top class products and services for our members and customers.”

In April, Leighton announced that he would be stepping down after nine years at the convenience retailer.

He said in that time, “Co-op has regained its financial strength but it has never lost sight of its wider social commitments and responsibilities by delivering value to our member-owners. Under Debbie’s leadership I have every confidence that our Co-op will continue to grow and to deliver against these commitments.”

White added: “I am delighted and privileged to be taking up this role. The Co-op is an iconic business with an important role to play in supporting the needs of our members and wider society.

“The Co-op is the original business with purpose, with ambitious plans to grow further in the coming years and I’m excited by the prospect of being a part of a business which exists to meet the needs of its members.”



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