Lincolnshire Co-op has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer to its Executive Leadership Team.

The society has over 295,000 members and runs a diverse trading business including food stores, filling stations, pharmacies, post offices, travel branches, funeral homes and a large property portfolio.

In March 2024, Paul Howard will take over the Chief Financial Officer role and Steve Leach will become Chief Operating Officer

Paul has experience across both private and listed retail businesses, both in the UK and overseas. He joins from international fashion retailer boohoo group plc, where he has been Head of Supply Chain Finance for the past two years.

Prior to boohoo, Paul progressed through the ranks at Wilko, at which he held senior finance roles across commercial finance, treasury, financial control and strategic planning, as well as a two-year stint in Hong Kong as Finance Director for the group’s sourcing office.

Steve has a breadth of retail leadership experience gained in M&S, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Vodafone, Co-op Group/Nisa and was most recently interim Chief Operating Officer at Vets Now.

He started his career in store management and then progressed into retail operations. His sector experience includes general merchandise, health and beauty, telecomms, food, delivered wholesale and veterinary healthcare.

Paul said: “Lincolnshire Co-op has a strong purpose that resonates with my values – integrity, commitment and making a positive contribution. The breadth of the consumer proposition brings exciting challenges and lots of growth potential.

“I’m excited to join a business that’s rich in history and heritage and look forward to adding value from my experience in strategic financial planning.”

Steve said: “I’m delighted to be joining Lincolnshire Co-op to support the team in delivering the purpose of bringing together ideas, energy and resources to make life better in our local communities.

“I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities that the team are currently working on and transferring my leadership experience to continue this momentum into sustainable long-term success.”

Henry Breese, Interim Chief Financial Officer, and Mark Finn, Acting Chief Operating Officer will be leaving Lincolnshire Co-op at the end of March.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Officer Alison Hands commented: “I’d like to thank Mark and Henry for their commitment and significant contribution during their time with us. They’ll continue to offer their support to us during the transition period and ensure a smooth handover.”

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