Our Chief Executive and Leadership team

In this section

Day-to-day management of our co-op is delegated by the Directors to the Chief Executive Officer, Doug Field OBE, who is responsible for implementing our strategy within the framework laid down by the Board.

The Chief Executive Officer is supported in the day-to-day running of the East of England Co-op by a team of Chief Officers.

Doug Field OBE - Chief Executive Officer

Doug Field OBE - Chief Executive Officer

Having joined the East of England Co-op in 2008, as CEO, Doug protects and nurtures our members' legacy for this generation and next. 

 

Doug is passionate about living and working in the East and has previously been Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of their Agri-Food Industry Council. He became a Trustee of Green Light Trust in December 2020 and is currently Vice Chair. Doug was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year's Honours List for his work supporting businesses across Suffolk and Norfolk. 

 

Outside of work, three school age children keep Doug awake and active, allowing him to unleash his imagination. 

Jonathan Carey - Society Secretary

Jonathan Carey - Society Secretary

Jonathan joined our co-op in 2004 as a retail graduate trainee, before moving into the Secretariat in 2005. Progressing within the department Jonathan was appointed Society Secretary in March 2020.

 

As Secretary, Jonathan is a trusted advisor to the Board on corporate and co-operative governance - enabling directors to fulfil their legal and regulatory duties and responsibilities in line with the Society’s rules, policies and procedures. Jonathan was appointed to Co-operatives UK’s Corporate Governance Expert Reference Panel in January 2023.

 

Having grown up on Mersea Island, Jonathan now lives in Colchester with his wife and two daughters.

Andy Rigby - Chief Operating Officer

Andy Rigby - Chief Operating Officer

Andy has been with us since May 2022 and is transforming our Food retail business. Andy is a dynamic and diverse leader, with over 30 years’ experience in senior leadership roles across food retail, fast moving consumer goods, wholesale and pharmacy – both in UK, EU and US markets.

 

Andy also supports and leads a programme of charity foundation work in Gambia to improve local community education.

Sarah Steels - Chief Member, Customer and People Officer

Sarah Steels - Chief Member, Customer and People Officer

Sarah joined our co-op in 2020, holding a number of operational leadership roles within the Funeral business. More recently, she has transitioned into the role of Chief Transformation Officer, taking responsibility for technology, cyber security, data and change. The role has been introduced in order to improve the daily lives of our colleagues and customers by landing the people, process and technological aspects of our change programme.

 

Prior to joining our co-op, Sarah held a number of operational leadership roles within the retail and hospitality sectors including; low cost greeting card giant, Card Factory and one of the UK’s top four betting operators, William Hill.

Stuart McDonald - Chief Property Officer

Stuart McDonald - Chief Property Officer

Stuart is our Chief Property Officer and is responsible for our extensive Property Portfolio and joined us in early 2024. He previously worked at Ipswich Borough Council in a variety of roles, latterly as Interim Assistant Director, Place where he led the strategic direction for Ipswich Borough Council on all property matters. These included successfully securing funding for £25m Towns Fund projects, the conversion of The Botanist in Ipswich and a church into a new music venue. Stuart previously built his property experience with different roles within the East of England Co-op. 

 

Outside of work, Stuart is a loyal Ipswich Town fan and enjoys exploring East Anglia with his family, as well as playing his guitar.

James Norman - Chief Financial Officer

James Norman - Chief Financial Officer

James joined us in August 2023 as Chief Financial Officer, leading on all financial matters for the society.

 

James is a driven and experienced finance leader, with a broad range of experience across a diverse set of UK and global businesses. He has a track record of utilising financial data to drive improvements in profitability.

 

Whilst never forgetting his Irish heritage James is happily settled in Norfolk with his wife and young children.