Posted on March 26, 2019 by staff

Former Co-op CEO joins On the Beach


On the Beach Group has appointed former Co-op CEO Richard Pennycook as chairman.

The UK’s leading online retailer of beach holidays will succeed David Kelly, who has served as interim chair of the board and nomination committee since the beginning of December.

Pennycook’s roles as non-executive chair of both the board and nomination committee will take effect from 1st April, when Kelly will resume his role as senior independent director.

Kelly will continue to chair the remuneration committee.

Pennycook is chairman of Howden Joinery Group Plc and was previously chairman of The Hut Group from 2012 to 2018, having worked with the fast-growing technology unicorn in an advisory capacity since 2008.

In a 30-year executive career he held main board roles at a number of public companies, including Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC, RAC plc, HP Bulmer Holdings plc, Laura Ashley Holdings plc and J D Wetherspoon PLC.

He then served as CEO of The Co-operative Group from 2013 to 2017.

“We are delighted to welcome Richard to On the Beach as chair of the board,” said Simon Cooper, CEO of Manchester-based On the Beach.

“Richard’s extensive experience in both private and public retail and consumer businesses will be invaluable, particularly his work with fast-growing online businesses, as we continue to deliver on our strategy in the UK and internationally.

“I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the board, to thank David Kelly for stepping into the role of interim chair in 2018 and we look forward to his continued support and guidance going forward.”

Pennycook said: “I very much look forward to working with Simon and the team at On the Beach.

“This is an agile and evolving business that has retained its entrepreneurial spirit while disrupting the travel industry to the benefit of consumers.

“I am pleased to be joining at this exciting time in the group’s journey.”