Co-operative Group own goal?

stevie spring co-opAndrew Bounds of the FT reports that the Co-operative Group has appointed two non-executive directors with public company experience: Peter Plumb, chief executive of, and Stevie Spring [right], chair of the Inspired Thinking Group [ITG Group].

Previously all 20 directors were Co-operative members but Lord Myners led a governance review and proposed an entirely professional board. The Co-op group compromised with its members to allow them to nominate three directors and later agreed to four after the Midcounties threat of legal challenges to the selection process.

Reputation and experience discounted?

pauline greenIt is reported that the Co-operative Group ‘refused to accept Pauline Green’, former MEP and president of the International Co-operative Alliance which represents the Co-op movement and its 1bn members, as a candidate.

It has now also withdrawn £100,000 funding for the ICA position. Pauline Green, who is to step down two years before the end of her term, said she understood the group had to make cuts.

The appointments of the new non-executive directors will have to be approved by a vote of 8m members next year. Will they decide to ‘accept’ former Labour minister Hazel Blears, who says on the Co-op’s website, “Co-op values have shaped my personal and working life” – but made headline news after repaying more than £13,000 in capital gains tax at the height of the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009.

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