Co-op Group gest first female chief executive in Shirine Khoury-Haq

Shirine Khoury-Haq

The Co-op has on Tuesday announced the appointment of Shirine Khoury-Haq as the new group chief executive.

Khoury-Haq, who will be the first female chief executive of the consumer co-operative, has been serving in the role since May in an interim capacity, after Steve Murrells stepped down at the annual general meeting.

She was previously serving as the group chief financial officer and chief executive of Co-op Life Services.

Commenting on the appointment, Allan Leighton, chair of Co-op said: “I’m delighted that Shirine has accepted the invitation to lead and develop our Co-op into the future, tackling the challenges presented by the highly uncertain and volatile external environment.

“Shirine has proven leadership qualities and a deep level of transformational experience, and the Board has been impressed by her desire to prioritise on activity that will deliver a strong financial Co-op for our members, whilst maintaining a focus on our vision and wider social commitments.”

Khoury-Haq said: “I am proud and honoured to lead this wonderful and unique organisation. The Co-op is the original business with purpose and I am looking forward to delivering even more on this promise, working to co-operate for a fairer world.

“There is a lot to do but we also have so much to build upon. Our Food and Life Services businesses are leaders in their markets, we have a differentiated vision and amazing Co-op colleagues, with links into communities and other co-operatives. Together, we will continue to succeed and deliver for the benefit of our members, our customers and their communities.”

Before joining Co-op, Khoury-Haq was chief operating officer for the Lloyd’s insurance market, with her remit including global operations, business transformation, data, information technology and corporate real estate.

In addition to holding senior positions at IBM, McDonalds and insurer, Catlin Group, she has worked in a number of regulated sectors in the UK and overseas including retail, IT, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. She was also a non-executive director of the Post Office.