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Former Co-op CEO reportedly in line for top Matalan role

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Matalan logo displayed on a smartphone. Photo: Nikolas Kokovlis / NurPhoto via AFP.

Jo Whitfield, the former chief executive of supermarket chain Co-op, is said to be one of the frontrunners to potentially take on the CEO role of fashion and homeware retailer Matalan.

The news comes as a report by Sky News, which said Whitfield, who left her position at the Co-op Group last year, is in “detailed talks” with the retailer’s new owners.

Matalan was taken over by a group of its lenders last month following a swift sale process, which saw the shareholders handed control over the company’s founder John Hargreaves.

It initially appointed former New Look boss Nigel Oddy for the position of interim CEO in September 2022 as it underwent the formal sales process and growth strategy.

It is Oddy that Whitfield is understood to be contending with, the publication added.

Whitfield had previously served as a finance executive for Matalan in the early 2000s before moving on to Asda, where she served in various capacities for nearly eight years.

Matalan recently secured a new recapitalisation through the lenders, with the group agreeing to inject up to 100 million pounds of new capital into the business.

The media outlet said a spokesperson for the retailer declined to comment.