Staff at The Co-op were today advised via internal communications of the appointment of a new chief executive officer.
Neil Retallick will take up the reins of the community co-operative in March 2018.
Born and bred in SA, Mr Retallick had a strong desire to return home having worked in the eastern states for the past six years.
The Co-op board chairman Phillip Schmaal said the board had approached the recruitment process with a clear intent of not making any rushed decisions.
“We have a strong and experienced management team in place, and it was important that we took the time to ensure we attracted the right person to lead the organisation through the next stage of its journey,” he said.
“We have built the infrastructure for the next generation of Co-op members; we now need a leader who can work with the other members of the team to take our successful co-operative to an altogether different level.”
He said Mr Retallick “ticked all the boxes”.
“He has very strong retail management experience; he has worked in and is knowledgeable in the principles underpinning how co-operatives operate.
Mr Retallick – who replaces previous CEO Graeme Longmuir – had a strong marketing background, and had served on the board of the internationally acclaimed University of SA-based Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science.
“He has a record of maintaining and building strong sustainable businesses, and he has the right people skills to engage with and mentor our team,” Mr Schmaal said.
“Importantly he has worked for many years in member-owned and member-driven organisations and understands the importance of how the co-operative and mutual sector values its members.”
Mr Retallick and his wife Trish were committed to living in and being actively involved in the Barossa community.
“The Co-op has a long history of service to its members,” Mr Retallick said.
“I look forward to working with the team at The Co-op to continue to add value to our member offering by realising the potential of the new infrastructure.
“It will be an exciting journey and one that I am very much looking forward to being a part of.”
Mr Schmaal extended a warm welcome to the new CEO on behalf of the board, and said they looked forward to his contribution to The Co-op.