Central England Co-op has appointed Debbie Robinson its new chief executive.
Robinson will assume the role in the spring with Martyn Cheatle due to retire next May.
She will become the society’s first female chief executive and will be responsible for developing the strategic and commercial direction of the society.
Her more than 30-year background in retail has seen her hold senior roles with Marks & Spencer, WHSmith and the Co-op.
Society president Elaine Dean said: “Debbie is no stranger to co-operative ethics and values, having previous experience at a senior level within the co-operative movement. She has a sound track record of success and is highly respected in the retail sector.
“This is the first time in the society’s history 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.”
Robinson added: “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.”