Central England Co-operative Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer announce plans to retire

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 16/11/2020

Central England Co-op can today announce that its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) are set to take their retirement in September 2021.

COO Tracey Orr and CFO Louise McFadzean have played pivotal roles in delivering unprecedented success at one of largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK over the past 36 years and 18 years respectively.  Under their leadership, at half year this year the retailer saw results of +6.4% to £486.4m, with Trading Profit up from £11.4m to £19.3m.

The pair will leave their roles at the Society in the summer of 2021 and the recruitment process for their successors is currently underway.

The Executive team will continue to be supported by long-serving Society Secretary Jim Watts and the Board of Directors as they work towards the recruitment of a new team.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “After starting in my role at Central England Co-op, one of my first jobs was focusing attention on building a talented team to ensure we continue to thrive as a successful independent Co‑operative society.

“This led to my appointing the very talented Tracey Orr to the role of COO, bringing her wealth of experience to our family of businesses, and Louise McFadzean was promoted to the role of CFO, providing a high degree of technical expertise and governance.

“Tracey has brought exceptional levels of judgement to her role and her expertise has been honed during a career dedicated to the Society. She has filled many roles, including HR and Change, and she has championed the Society’s understanding of mental health issues. Most recently, in her role as the Society’s COO, she has demonstrated her invaluable ability to build highly performing teams to deliver brilliant results.  

“Louise has sustained the health of our finances and performance with her incredible eye for detail and drive for the highest standards. Louise has pioneered flexible working and has proved that it can succeed at the highest level.  Since taking on the role as CFO she become an outstanding member of the Executive. 

“With Jim Watts as Society Secretary, our Leadership Team fully recruited, and the annual Board Elections recently completed, we have a solid base from which to plan. The Society has many talented people and there will clearly be opportunities for future development. 

“Thanks to the inspiring leadership of Tracey and Louise, the Society is in a solid financial position, with exciting developments on the horizon, particularly around new channels to market in both our food and funeral businesses.

“On behalf of the Board, our colleagues, members and customers, and myself, I want to extend our most sincere thanks to Tracey and Louise for the outstanding job that they have done, and the strong position in which they will leave the Society. We wish them every success in the future.”


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,550 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop