Ex-Morrisons’ Pennycook joins Co-op as FD

FORMER MORRISONS FINANCE DIRECTOR Richard Pennycook has been appointed as finance director at crisis-hit retail and banking giant Co-operative Group.

Pennycook, widely regarded as a turnaround specialist, succeeds Steve Humes, who stepped down last week following a series of crises in the supermarkets-to-funerals group’s banking division.

The Co-op was recently downgraded to junk status by rating agency Moody’s, forcing the customer-owned business to deny that it would need a taxpayer funded bailout to plug a capital hole. Last month, the bank announced that it would cease lending to new corporate customers.

Pennycook joins the Co-op on 1 July, initially on an interim basis, having established himself as a turnaround specialist par excellence as he delivered the seemingly impossible by restoring the City’s faith in Morrisons after its botched Safeway acquisition.

He spent eight years as Morrisons group FD before announcing his decision to leave the company last summer to concentrate on building a portfolio career. He steps down this month.

Previously, Pennycook worked as group finance director at RAC and JD Wetherspoon. He also steps down from the board of Thomas Cook, where he had served for a short period as a non-executive, with immediate effect.

Euan Sutherland, group chief executive of The Co-operative Group, said: “I am very pleased that individuals of the calibre of Richard Pennycook and Richard Pym have decided to join The Co-operative Group. Both have fantastic track records in British business and the team and I look forward to working closely with both of them.”

Earlier this year, Pennycook was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Financial Director’s inaugural Business Finance Awards.

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