Co-op board changes as Debbie White becomes chair

Manchester-based mutual giant Co-op Group announced big board changes, with Debbie White becoming chair and Moni Mannings and Luke Jensen appointed as independent non-executive directors.

White succeeds Allan Leighton as his nine-year term of office as chair ends.

The new chair’s “fee” will be £250,000.

Employing almost 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of over £11 billion.

Leighton will remain on the board as an independent non-executive director until February 18, 2024.

Previously, White was 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 plc, Howden’s Joinery Group plc and PAVmed Inc.

Moni Mannings joins Co-op Group as senior independent director — succeeding Christopher Kelly, who reached the end of his nine-year term of office in November 2023. Kelly continues to chair the Co-op’s regulated insurance board.

Mannings currently sits on the boards of Hargreaves Lansdown, easyJet and Land Securities. A qualified solicitor, Mannings was a partner at a number of global law firms, including as International Head of Banking and Finance at Olswang.

Luke Jensen joins Co-op Group as an independent non-executive director on February 19, 2024. 

Jensen was most recently CEO of Ocado Solutions and is currently executive chair at Hana Group SAS. He also served previously as group development director of J Sainsbury’s plc.

Jensen is a successor to Stevie Spring, who will step down from the board at the end of her nine-year term in June 2024.

Mutually owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates over 2,400 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.