Extensive governance reforms have been proposed by The Co-operative Group.
The proposals focus on four key areas of reform, which have been unanimously agreed by its members. The keys of reform include: the creation of a member-elected board that is individually and collectively qualified to lead the Co-op Group; a new structure that gives the Group’s members appropriate powers to hold the board accountable; a move to the concept of ‘one member one vote’ with appropriate representation for Independent Society Members; and the inclusion of necessary provisions in the Rules of the Co-operative Group to protect against de-mutualisation.
The new structure of the board of directors will consist of majority independent directors and will include an independent chair, five independent non-executive directors, two executive directors, as well as the group chief executive and three member nominated directors.
Following approval of the rules, an interim transitional board structure will be in place, which will see the board number reduce from 18 to nine, until recruitment of the new board members or its AGM in 2015.
Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of The Co-operative Group, said: ‘These governance reforms represent the final crucial step in delivering the necessary change to restore the Group and return it to health. This has been a process built on co-operation, focusing above all on creating a Society where every member has a voice in shaping the Group’s future.’
The proposals, which follow a period of consultation with its members, have been reflected in a proposed new rule book which will be put to a vote at a Special General Meeting on 30th August 2014.