Central England Co-operative appoints its first woman chief executive

Debbie Robinson, new chief executive of the Central England Co-operative.
Debbie Robinson, new chief executive of the Central England Co-operative.
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A leading retailer in Peterborough has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.

Debbie Robinson has been chosen by the Central England Co-operative to replace the current office holder Martyn Cheatle, who retires next May.

Ms Robinson joins the Society, which has 400 outlets and 8,000 staff, from SPAR where she has been UK managing director since 2011.

She has previously worked with Marks & Spencer and WHSmith and has held directorships for food retailers specialising in store innovation, brand strategy and global development.

She said: “I am delighted to be joining a progressive and truly co-operative society.

“I look forward to building on the fantastic work Martyn has done and working with the team to ensure Central England Co-operative fulfils its ambitions and potential, making a real difference for our members and the communities we serve.”

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

She is a member of the boards of the Association of Convenience Stores and the British Retail Consortium and is a keen marathon runner and has completed numerous charity cycle rides.

Elaine Dean, Society president, said “This is the first time in the Society’s history that we have had a female chief executive and the Board is confident in her ability to take us forward as a dynamic and independent co-operative society.

“We look forward to working with Debbie as we build on our strong foundations and plan for the future.”

Mr Cheatle said: “I am incredibly proud of the Society and our colleagues, all of whom have contributed to the continued success Central England Co-operative has worked so hard to achieve in the time I have been chief executive.

“I wish Debbie all the very best for her future with the best independent retail Co-operative in the UK.”

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