Co-op puts Richard Pennycook in charge of IT in management reshuffle

Anh Nguyen

Richard Pennycook, interim group chief executive at The Co-operative Group, will be taking up a newly-created role that includes overseeing IT after a management reshuffle.

In an announcement today, the Co-op said that it was creating a new management executive role of chief operating officer (COO), overseeing IT, finance and procurement, risk and transformation delivery. Pennycook will take up this role when a permanent group CEO has been appointed.

"The group has begun the search for an interim chief operating officer. While this search progresses, Richard will maintain responsibility for these functions," the Co-op said in a statement.

The group's existing CIO, Andy Haywood, will report Pennycook.

Steve Murrells, CEO of Retail, will maintain responsibility for food, pharmacy, farms and the company's "E-Store", as well as taking up new responsibilities for property and estates.

Other changes to management include the appointment of Mark Summerfield as managing director of the troubled Co-operative Banking Group. Summerfield will run the general insurance business and oversee the ongoing work to separate the group from the bank.

Furthermore, the group is delaying the publication of its annual results and reports, which were due on 26 March, until 17 April.

It said that it will reveal its group strategy review at the annual meeting on 17 May, as planned.

In October, the bank appointed IT expert Bill Thomas to its board as an independent, non-executive director for his experience in leading major change in large organisations.

The Co-operative Bank had to recently scrap plans to implement a new banking platform, which resulted in the company writing off £148.4 million in IT costs.