The Co-operative Group Board of Directors

Find out how The Co-operative Group Board is part of our democracy.

The Co-operative Group Board

(r) regional representative (i) independent society representative

Allan Leighton

Allan Leighton

Group Chair. Joined the Board in 2015.

Allan Leighton became the Society’s first Independent Non-Executive Chair under the reformed governance structure. Allan has held a series of high profile roles, including Chief Executive of Asda, the grocery chain, from 1996 to 2000, Non-Executive Chairman of Royal Mail from 2002 to 2009, President of Loblaw, the largest food retailer in Canada, from 2008 to 2011 and Chief Executive of Pandora A/S, the jewellery manufacturer and retailer until 1 March 2015.

Duncan Bowdler

Duncan Bowdler (r)

Joined the Board in 2007.

Trade and Legislation Manager. Member of the North West & North Midlands Regional Board. Non-Executive Director of the Co-operative Banking Group Limited. Member of the Transitional Risk and Audit Committee and Transitional Search Committee.

Michael Harriott (r)

Joined the Group Board in May 2013.

Member of the South and West Regional Board. Director and Chair of Co-operative Specialist Businesses Board. Member of the Transitional Remuneration and Transitional Search Committee.

Frank Nelson

Frank Nelson

Joined the Board in May 2014.

Retired Marketing Manager – Co-operative Bank. Member of the North West and North Midlands Regional Board. Director of Co-operatives UK and Knowsley Mutual Credit Union. Member of the Remuneration Committee and Transitional Search Committee.

Eric Calderwood

Eric Calderwood (r)

Joined the Board in 2006.

University Lecturer/Retail Consultant. Member of the Scotland & Northern Ireland Regional Board. Member and Chair of the Group Remuneration Committee and Transitional Search Committee. Also, Director of Co-operatives UK Ltd and Chair of The Manx Co-operative Society.

Martyn Cheatle

Martyn Cheatle (i)

Joined the Board in 2010.

Chief Executive, Central England Co-operative Society. Chair of the Transitional Risk and Audit Committee and Transitional Search Committee.

Marc Bicknell

Marc Bicknell (r)

Joined the Group Board in October 2013.

Member of the North Regional Board and a Director and Chair of the Co-operative Food Board. Member of the Transitional Risk and Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee and Transitional Search Committee.

Richard Pennycook

Richard Pennycook

Group Chief Executive

Joined the Group in 2013 after nearly eight years as Group Finance Director at WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc (“Morrisons”). At Morrisons he had responsibility for the Group’s finance, IT, strategy and multichannel development. Previous roles include Group Finance Director at RAC and JD Wetherspoon. Appointed Interim Group Chief Executive in March 2014 and was appointed Group Chief Executive permanently in September 2014.

Sir Christopher Kelly

Sir Christopher Kelly 

Joined the Group Board in November 2014

Joined the Board in November 2014 as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director. Sir Christopher Chaired the independent review which considered the events leading up to the re-capitalisation plan for The Co-operative Bank plc in 2013. Prior to this he was a senior public servant for many years. He currently chairs the King’s Fund and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board and previously chaired the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the NSPCC. He has also been a senior official in HM Treasury and was permanent secretary of the Department of Health.

Simon Burke

Simon Burke

Joined the Board in November 2014

Joined the Board in November 2014 as an Independent Non-Executive Director for the transitional period (ending May 2015), having previously been an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Group’s principal subsidiary, Co-operative Food Holdings Ltd. Simon is currently also a Non-Executive Director for The BBC and was previously Chair of both BathStore and Hobbycraft.


The Co-operative Banking Group Board

  • Peter Harvey, (Chair) Non-Executive Director
  • Duncan Bowdler, Non-Executive Director
  • Rod Bulmer, Director
  • Bob Newton, Non-Executive Directors


  • Lesley Reznicek (President)
  • Robin Stewart (Vice President)
  • Tricia Davies (Vice President)
  • Jenny de Villiers (Vice President)
  • Herbert Daybell
  • Jenny Barnes
  • David Smith
  • Ray Henderson
  • David Pownall
  • Robert Harber
  • Mark Smith
  • John Brodie
  • Andrew Donkin
  • David Morrow
  • Adrienne Lowe
  • Mark Nicholson
  • Martin Morris
  • Terry Morton
  • Louise Walker

Remuneration Committee

  • Eric Calderwood (Chair)
  • Marc Bicknell
  • Michael Harriott
  • Sir Christopher Kelly
  • Frank Nelson

Risk & Audit Committee

  • Martyn Cheatle (Chair)
  • Marc Bicknell
  • Duncan Bowdler
  • Simon Burke

Search Committee

  • Allan Leighton (Chair)
  • Marc Bicknell
  • Duncan Bowdler
  • Eric Calderwood
  • Martyn Cheatle
  • Michael Harriott
  • Frank Nelson
  • Lesley Reznicek