Tulip boss heads to Co-op

Tulip boss Steve Murrells is to return to retail after being appointed chief executive of the Co-operative Group’s food business.

Murrells, who joined Tulip as UK chief executive in October 2009, has previously held positions with both Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the fresh food and meat sectors.

Taking up the post in July, Murrells, 46, replaces Tim Hurrell who retired last year.
Commenting on his new role he said: “The Co-operative Group has made enormous strides in its food business and this is an exciting time to be leading the team as we focus on delivering the full potential of The Co-operative brand for the benefit of our customers and members.   

“The Co-op position is so challenging that I simply could not refuse the offer. It has been a difficult decision as I have very much enjoyed working with some fantastic people whose talent and expertise have ensured the continued growth and success of
Tulip over the last few years. I am confident the team in place will continue to build on this success.”

The Co-operative Group has also announced the promotion of Sean Toal to the new position of chief operating officer food, reporting to Murrells. Toal was previously commercial director food.
Peter Marks, group chief executive, added: “As a result of the acquisition and integration of Somerfield, The Co-operative Group has experienced phenomenal growth, and is once again a major force in food retailing. These appointments reflect this. Steve and Sean bring to their new positions a wealth of experience and complementary skills to make us more efficient and more customer focussed as we move through the next phase of our development as the UK’s leading community retailer.”

Tulip CEO, Flemming Enevoldsen said: ”Steve has made a great difference to our business in the UK and it is very much appreciated. I have no doubt that his work in Tulip is among the main reasons why he has been chosen for one of the most prestigious positions within the English retail market. I fully understand that Steve could not turn down such an offer.”

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