In January, the Norwich Evening News announced that East of England Co-op Chief Executive Richard Samson had ‘quit’ his post and would be on a period of leave prior to his departure.
John Pendle, president of the East of England Co-operative Society gave no reason for his departure.
The paper appealed for information, giving contact numbers.
The Co-operative News noted in May:
“Richard Samson, who has been on “leave of absence” from the society since December 11th last year, is now on extended ‘gardening leave’ until the end of this year — at a cost of £450,000 to his employers.
“The society’s annual report makes no mention of Mr Samson’s contribution in his near five years as chief officer; nor does it refer to him as Chief Executive or former CEO. However a brief three-line statement states: “Richard Samson is leaving the society on 30th December, 2011, and has been on leave of absence since 11th December, 2010.”
This secrecy does not reflect well on the co-operative movement.