#AceFinanceNews (Reuters) – Euan Sutherland, the man tasked with rescuing Britain’s 170-year old Co-operative Group, quit on Tuesday and warned it was impossible to reform the mutually owned company unless its directors adopted a more commercial approach.
The Co-op, which runs a bank, supermarkets, and funeral homes, suffered what Sutherland called the worst year in its history in 2013 when it discovered a 1.5 billion pound ($2.5 billion) capital hole in its banking business.
Problems at the group, which is owned by its 7.2 million members and extols an ethical approach to business, were compounded by a drugs scandal involving the bank’s ex-chairman, Methodist minister Paul Flowers who had little financial experience.
Sutherland wanted to reform the group’s unwieldy governance structure to bring a higher level of corporate experience to the group. It has a tangle of boards populated by members elected from regional units of the organisation.
But after 10 months in the job, he tendered his resignation on Monday in a letter saying the Manchester-based group was “ungovernable,” a source said earlier.