Steve Murrells became Co-op Group CEO in March 2017 having previously led the Co-op’s Food business since 2012. Steve now has overall responsibility for all the Co-op’s businesses - Food, Funeralcare, Insurance and Legal Services which now includes the recently acquired Simplify Probate, making the Co-op the leading provider of probate services in the UK. Steve has also overseen the acquisition of Nisa Retail Limited which now sees the Co-op wholesale to over 7,700 stores across the UK. The Co-op is the UK’s largest mutual business with more than 4.5 million members, 63,000 colleagues and a presence in every postal region of the country. Steve has led on Co-op campaigns to address issues that are important to Co-op’s members. He spoke on water poverty at the Global Citizen Festival in 2017 where he committed a further £1m to the Global Water Fund, in addition to the £10m already raised through the sale of Co-op branded water. He has committed the business to tackle the scourge of modern slavery and called on his fellow business leaders to follow his lead. Over a dozen businesses have subsequently signed up to work on Co-op’s Bright Future programme; supporting survivors of modern slavery with paid work placements. During Steve’s tenure the Co-op has responded to the call of its members to tackle loneliness raising £6.5m. Its campaign to get the issue recognised by the Government has led to the appointment of a Minister whose responsibility is to address the issue of loneliness. Most recently, his ambition to drive improvement in skills and education in the U.K. is lived out through the announcement to more than treble the number of Academies the Co-op sponsors, providing a pipeline of young talent into the Co-op’s apprenticeship scheme.
As a senior executive at the Co-op Steve has been a key part of the team which has rebuilt the Coop, relaunched its membership proposition and returned its iconic blue clover-leaf logo to the high street. Steve is leading the Co-op into a sustainable and digital future, including hosting digital startups and innovators in the Co-op’s award winning Federation House, as well as the recent acquisition of healthcare technology start-up DIMEC which has signalled the Co-op’s return to the health and wellbeing market.
As CEO of Co-op Food, Steve was responsible for the Co-op’s £7bn-turnover food retail arm with its 2560 strong network of stores and logistics operations which span the whole of the UK. He introduced the Co-op’s new retail strategy which focuses on convenience and turned around the business to grow its market share, resulting in 18 consecutive quarters of growth. Previous to joining the Co-op Steve has held senior leadership roles in European and UK based food retail businesses, including Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Steve spent three years in manufacturing as CEO of the UK division of Danish Crown before joining the Co-op.