UK's Co-op delays results, reshuffles management team

LONDON, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:52am EDT

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Britain's troubled Co-operative Group said on Wednesday it would delay publication of its full-year results as it detailed changes to its executive management team in the wake of the abrupt exit of its chief executive earlier this month.

The 170-year-old mutually owned-group, which includes food shops and funeral parlours and a stake in Co-op Bank, said it would now publish its annual results and accounts on April 17. They had been scheduled to be released on March 26.

The Co-op said Richard Pennycook, who took on the role of interim group chief executive when Euan Sutherland resigned as CEO on March 11, would become chief operating officer when a permanent group CEO had been appointed.

Pennycook's COO role will oversee finance/procurement, IT, risk and transformation delivery.

A search for an interim COO has started.

The group said Steve Murrells, CEO retail, will maintain responsibility for food, pharmacy, farms and e-store but will also take on responsibility for property and estates.

Rod Bulmer will join the Co-op's management executive as CEO consumer service in June with responsibility for general insurance, funeralcare and legal services. He was previously deputy CEO at The Co-operative Bank.

Amongst further changes Mark Summerfield has been appointed managing director of The Co-operative Banking Group and will oversee work to separate the group from The Co-operative Bank.

The Co-op said its annual meeting was still slated for May 17, at which members will hear details of the group's strategy review.

Its senior independent director Paul Myners warned on Friday that the group need to reform or would else face extinction.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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