The Heart of England Co-operative Society has appointed former McColl’s and Nisa executive Steve Browne as general manager of its Food Division.

Browne is responsible for the strategic growth and day-to-day operations within its 32-strong network of food stores across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Since working for the Co-op Group as a store manager in Northumberland store, Browne worked for Nisa from 2007 to 2014, where he ended up as head of symbol retail, before joining McColl’s, where he was head of convenience store format.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining the Heart of England Co-operative Society. The move has come full circle for me, returning to a Co-operative, where I started my training.

“I’ve effectively come home, and at a fantastic time not just for the Co-operative movement as a whole but for the Heart of England itself which is in the midst of an extremely buoyant acquisition strategy and a very heavy ongoing development programme.”

Browne replaces Peter Fletcher who was general manager of the Food Division for the past nine years.