November 24, 2022 12.23 pm This story is over 12 months old

New Lincolnshire Co-op CEO named as Alison Hands

Leading the society through its next chapter

Lincolnshire Co-op has announced that Wilkos Managing Director Alison Hands will become its new CEO, following the retirement of Ursula Lidbetter.

Alison brings over 33 years’ experience in a mix of retail environments, including Marks and Spencer, The Body Shop, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Boots Opticians.

She is currently Managing Director at Wilkos, having previously been Trading Director and Commercial Execution Director.

Current CEO Ursula Lidbetter announced her retirement in March this year after 37 years with Lincolnshire Co-op, 18 of those as its chief executive. She will retire at the end of December.

Ursula Lidbetter is retiring as the Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op.

Chief Financial Officer Steve Galjaard, who has been with Lincolnshire Co-op for 21 years, will become Acting Chief Executive Officer alongside his current role, ensuring a smooth transition for the society’s 2,900 colleagues.

Chair David Cowell said: “Under Ursula’s expert leadership, our society has flourished. She’s overseen our busy programme of work throughout 2022 and will be retiring leaving Lincolnshire Co-op in a great position for the future.

“We welcome Alison to the society with the knowledge she will continue this good work and help us move forward. She brings a wealth of experience and insight, as well as a deep understanding of bricks and mortar retail and what that means to customers. She’s also passionate about our purpose and values.

“I’d like to thank Ursula, my fellow Board of Directors, the Senior Leadership Team and our colleagues for supporting this process.”

Chief Executive Officer Ursula Lidbetter said: “I’ve served the society for nearly a quarter of our 161 years. Now feels the right time to pass the baton on.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how Lincolnshire Co-op develops under Alison’s leadership, working alongside the great team we have in place.”

Alison Hands said: “I’m honoured to be joining this values-driven organisation, which continues to build on its success, whilst delivering its purpose to make life better in communities.

“I’m excited to be charged with leading the society through the next phase of its development, as we collectively tackle the challenges of the current external environment.”