Central England Co-op has this week welcomed its new Chief Executive Debbie Robinson on her first day with the Society.

Debbie was appointed in November last year and will oversee one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with over 8,000 staff and over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties.

Debbie will take over from Martyn Cheatle who will be retiring in April after successfully leading Central England Co-op since 2010.

Previously, Debbie has worked for over 30 years with the likes of Co-op Group, Marks & Spencer and WHSmith among others and most recently held the position of UK Managing Director at SPAR UK.

Debbie commented:

“I am looking forward to meeting colleagues across the Society and becoming a part of an organisation that genuinely makes a positive community impact.

“I am excited to be joining a progressive, forward-looking business.  I look forward to building on the fantastic work Martyn has done and working with the team to ensure Central England Co-op fulfils its ambitions and potential, making a real difference for our customers, members and communities.

“My vision for the future of Central England Co-op is to grow sustainably and make the most of the Society’s key USP; our co-operative values and principles.”

Debbie will be responsible for developing the strategic and commercial direction of the Society.

Elaine Dean, Society President, said:

“All at Central England Co-op are delighted to welcome Debbie in her new role as Chief Executive.

“Debbie joins at an exciting time of growth and development for us and we can’t wait to see how she uses her vast experience in the retail sector, combined with co-operative values, to take us forward as a dynamic and independent co-operative.”

Added to her retail expertise, Debbie also sits on the boards of the Association of Convenience Stores and the British Retail Consortium. Outside of work Debbie has many hobbies and interests in the arts and music world. She is a very keen marathon runner and has completed numerous charity cycle rides including the convenience and wholesale charity cycles for Mines Advisory Group.