March 15, 2022 5.00 pm This story is over 20 months old

The most powerful woman in Lincolnshire is retiring

Stepping down as CEO of Lincolnshire Co-op after 18 years

Lincolnshire Co-op’s chief executive, Ursula Lidbetter OBE, is retiring from her position after 37 years with the company.

Ursula, who will turn 60 this year, is standing down after spending almost two thirds of her life at Lincolnshire Co-op, with 18 years as CEO.

She began as a buyer and department manager in 1985, and has progressed through the ranks to run an operation that has over 220 varied outlets, and recorded sales of over £355 million in 2020/21.

Ursula has been at the helm of a series of major projects in the city of Lincoln, including the creation of the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, as well as the development and modernisation of the Cornhill Quarter.

A busy Friday afternoon at Cornhill Quarter. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

She received an OBE for her services to the local economy in 2019, and will now be retiring to spend more time with family.

Ursula Lidbetter said: “It’s a privilege to work alongside my 2,900 colleagues to lead this special business, where we aim to make life better in our communities every day.

“It’s also wonderful to collaborate with many like-minded people in organisations across Lincolnshire and beyond to bring forward schemes making such a difference.

“In due course, I will hand over to my successor who will take us into the next stage of our development.”

Ursula Lidbetter served as Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Co-operative for 18 years. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The process for recruiting a new CEO will take place over the coming months, conducted by Lincolnshire Co-op’s board of directors.

Chair David Cowell said: “The Board would like to thank Ursula for the huge contribution she has made to the success of the society during her time here. She will be leaving our co-op in great shape to move on to its next chapter, based upon the strong legacy that has been built over 161 years of trading.

“In the meantime, we have a busy programme of work for 2022 and look forward to delivering this under Ursula’s expert leadership.”