Euan Sutherland, the chief executive of the Co-operative Group, has reportedly offered his resignation – a tactic that has been described as a “back-me-or-sack-me” move.
According to the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston, Sutherland says in a letter that the organisation is “ungovernable”. This follows a turbulent year that saw the group endure financial and cultural problems.
The Co-op Bank revealed a £1.5 billion shortfall in its balance sheet in June, followed by a rescue plan that included its maiden flotation on the stock market and the selling of 70% of the bank to outside investors.
The bank’s former chairman Paul Flowers then became embroiled in a drugs scandal which further hampered the organisation’s image.
Peston added Sutherland was “demoralised and fed-up” at the events, and that the group had “lost its way” as a result. He added that while the resignation offer may be a “back-me-or-sack-me” tactic, Sutherland may well still leave.
The Co-op chief exec came under fire on Sunday when it was revealed he would be getting a total paypacket worth £3.66m for 2013 – including a £1.5m salary and a £1.5m retention payment. This is despite reports that the overall group was expected to post its worst ever financial results in May.