The Co-operative Group’s fevered search for a new Chairman, to turn the company around, is over.
The Co-op, which owns one fifth of a bank as well as supermarkets, funeral services and pharmacies, confirmed in an emailed statement to Business Insider that Allan Leighton is taking the helm.
The former head of Asda and the Royal Mail will become Chairman with immediate effect, taking over from Ursula Lidbetter who chaired the group since November 2013.
The Co-op also revealed that Leighton decided to donate his undisclosed six-figure salary to charitable foundations associated with the group.
“The Chair’s fee is £250,000. Allan [Leighton] has instructed that this be passed to The Co-Operative Foundation,” according to the company, which prides itself on an ethical business model, despite recent scandals.
“The Co-operative Foundation is an independent charitable trust set up in 2000 to nurture and support young people in making a positive contribution in local communities.”
The Co-op was rocked by a number of banking and management scandals over the last two years.
In 2013, the Co-op Bank, which is one of Britain’s smallest lenders with only around 5 million customers, revealed that there was a £1.5 billion ($US2.4 billion) capital black hole in its books.
A year later, the Daily Mail newspaper then unveiled a set of undercover videos that alleged that the Co-op Bank’s Chairman, Paul Flowers, was taking illegal drugs and participating in sex orgies.
While he then quit the bank, he was later charged for the possession of drugs, including cocaine and crystal meth. He then pleaded guilty to the offences.
In the same year, Co-op board member and Labour councillor Munir Malik left the Co-op amid a qualification probe.
The director of the Co-op Group Stuart Ramsay also stepped down after an internal investigation confirmed that he was leaking sensitive information to the press about the company.
Even the Co-op’s group boss Euan Sutherland quit after just ten months into the job.
He called the bank “ungovernable.”
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