Co-op appoints Shirine Khoury-Haq, its first female chief executive since group was founded in 1863
New boss: Shirine Khoury-Haq will replace Steve Murrells
Co-op has appointed its first female chief executive since the group was founded in 1863.
Shirine Khoury-Haq will replace Steve Murrells, who will step down in May after 10 years at the retailer.
Khoury-Haq is Co-op’s finance chief and head of its Life Services division, which sells insurance policies.
She was paid £1.1m in salary and bonuses in 2020 but is expected to see her salary increase in line with Murrells’, who took home £2.2m in 2020. His departure is seen as a shock, having been in the top job since 2017.
A series of analysts and industry experts stressed their surprise at the timing.
A senior retail analyst told the Mail: ‘It definitely came as a surprise. Steve is great and has done a fantastic job.
‘If he had said he was leaving in the next year I would not have been very surprised but it was all very sudden.’
Co-op’s board had asked Murrells to stay in post for another five years or step down. He said he could not commit to the extension and so had decided to leave the business.
Khoury-Haq is also a nonexecutive director of housebuilder Persimmon and has held positions at IBM and McDonald’s.
Murrells said: ‘I have had 10 wonderful years at the Co-op.’