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Wilko loses chief finance director to Co-op

Wilko shop front

The Co-operative Group has beefed up its management team by poaching a new finance director from Wilko, the discount retailer.

The Co-op said that Ian Ellis will become its new chief financial officer after serving the same role at Wilko.

Mr Ellis will work alongside Richard Pennycook, who stepped up from finance director to become chief executive of the Co-op last year after the controversial departure of Euan Sutherland.

The Co-op is reshaping its senior leadership team after battling through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history. The group has been forced to sell off assets after discovering a blackhole in its bank and is also trying to improve sales in its grocery business, which is the fifth biggest in the UK but is losing market share.

As well as the arrival of Mr Ellis, the Co-op has named former Asda and Royal Mail boss Allan Leighton as chairman.

Mr Pennycook said: “With a long career in retail and food businesses, Ian is extremely well qualified for the role and we are very pleased to have hired him.”

Mr Ellis has worked for Wilko as chief financial officer since April 2008. Before that he was head of finance at Wm Morrison, where Mr Pennycook was chief financial officer, and also worked for Northern Foods.

Wilko is one of Britain’s biggest privately-owned companies. It sells a wide variety of products, including homeware, furniture, accessories, health and beauty products, and toys, and has become a cult favourite with British shoppers.

The company’s most recent results showed a 4.4pc fall in annual sales to £1.46bn, while cost-cutting helped pre-tax profits to rise slightly from £27.5m to £27.6m. Wilko has 375 stores.

Source : Graham Ruddick - The Telegraph

09 March 2015

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