Southern Co-operative COO, Phil Ponsonby, has been recruited by Midcounties Co-operative’s Food business.

In April Ponsonby will be joining the Warwickshire-headquartered society as group general manager of its Food business, bringing with him 30 years of grocery retail experience. He has been chief operating officer at Southern Co-operative for the last six years.

Ponsonby will be responsible for 232 food retail stores, developing the offering of its larger format stores and continued development of its convenience estate.

Ben Reid, chief executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Phil’s in-depth experience of grocery retail and his understanding of the co-operative model, means he’s ideally placed to drive our business forward.”

Phil Ponsonby said: “I’m excited about taking on a new challenge within the co-operative movement and helping The Midcounties Co-operative to develop its retail business at a time of dynamic change in the grocery retail sector.”