The struggling Co-operative Group is set to name Allan Leighton as the chairman of Britain’s largest co-operative. An agreement was expected on his appointment on Monday, which would mark a key stage in the overhaul of the Co-op. The group, home to a chain of supermarkets and funeral homes, has been mired in controversy since the discovery of a £1.4 billion hole in its banking operation in 2013. This sparked a string of scandals and led to a series of reports into what went wrong at a business that could once lay claim to a presence in every UK postcode.
Problems in the bank forced them to lose control of the asset to private investors in order to turn it around. This and revelations that the bank’s chairman Paul Flowers bought illegal drugs led to a damaged reputation. Allan Leighton started his career at Mars corporation, then he went on to take a number of senior roles, including the chairmanship of Royal Mail, joining in 2002 and leaving in 2008, and sitting on the board of Lastminute.com, BSkyB and Dyson.