Co-op names Shirine Khoury-Haq interim CEO

Shirine Khoury-Haq

Manchester-based Co-op Group announced that CEO Steve Murrells will step down following this year’s AGM in May and that it has appointed Shirine Khoury-Haq, group CFO and CEO of Co-op Life Services as its interim group CEO. 

Co-op Group employs 60,000 people and has an annual turnover of £11.5 billion.

Owned mutually by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates over 2,500 food stores, 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business Nisa Retail Limited. 

Murrells said: “It is important to put a clear CEO succession plan in place.

“This is especially the case as we begin the process to appoint a new chairman. 

“In such circumstances I would either have needed to commit for another five years or step down now to allow a new CEO to become established and allow a smooth transition to occur, ahead of a new chairman arriving. 

“I have therefore chosen to take that step now.

“I have had 10 wonderful years at the Co-op and am very proud of all that we have achieved and how we’ve shown that a purpose-led organisation, focussed on a strong vision of fairness and values can make such a difference.”

Co-op chair Allan Leighton said: “Steve’s decision will ensure the transitioning of both chair and CEO will take place seamlessly. 

“Steve has done a tremendous job at the Co-op in his 10 years of tenure and has been at the forefront of our transition.

“He is a top class leader and person and his legacy in the Co-op is firmly embedded.

“Shirine has excellent leadership skills and a deep level of operational experience, gained globally across a number of sectors. 

“She understands our Co-op and I and the rest of the board, look forward to working closely with her going forward.”     

Khoury-Haq said: “I am proud to be part of a wonderful organisation that contributes so much to our communities and our country.

“We have lots to do and I am looking forward to working with my 60,000 colleagues, Allan and our board to continue to make the Co-op a special place to work while providing great products and services to our customers and members.”

Khoury-Haq joined the Co-op executive in August 2019.

Before joining the Co-op she was chief operating officer for the Lloyd’s insurance market.

She also held senior positions at IBM, McDonalds and insurer Catlin Group.

Khoury-Haq gained an MBA from Ohio State University and is a US Certified Public Accountant.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.