Mike Bracken welcomes former GDS colleagues to Co-operative Group

In his new role as chief digital officer for the Co-operative, Mike Bracken has published a blog post setting out the company’s digital future.

Within the post, Bracken introduces some of his former Government Digital Service (GDS) colleagues, who have also left government to join him at the British consumer cooperative.


Key objectives

According to Bracken – former director of the GDS – the Co-operative’s digital aim is to be “open, agile and have a relentless focus on members – existing ones and new ones”.

We are here to make the Co-operative a world-leading digital player as we continue our rebuild phase,” he said.

Out ambition is bold: to re-create the Co-operative for a digital era, and demonstrate a different way of doing business for an increasingly connected community.”


Achieving digital goals

In order to accomplish these aims, Bracken and his team will need to: build on their “position of trust” with members, “create teamwork around a commitment to digital excellence” and “continue to develop and attract the best digital skills”.

Communicating with members online instead of by post – which would save the company over £500,000 –, is cited as one way the Co-operative can make the most of digital.


New digital talent

Bracken uses the blog post to introduce new additions to the Co-operative team, all of whom previously worked alongside him at the GDS.

The new team includes:


  • Russell Davies, digital strategy director

Davies will “lead in defining digital strategy for the whole Group – integrating (their) approach to communications, vision, loyalty, brand and membership”

  • Tom Loosemore, digital services director

Loosemore will be responsible for creating “a world-class digital services unit at the centre of the Co-operative Group”

  • Ben Terrett, group design director

Terrett will “build a first-rate design and brand capability inside the Co-operative Group”

  • Matt Wall, working alongside the team to review their “digital and data architecture”

Wall started at the company before Bracken, and is working with the membership team and across the Technology Organisation


‘Extraordinary skills and experience’

Bracken said of the new team:

Together, Ben, Tom, Russell, Mat and I founded the Government Digital Service. With our colleagues there, and across government, we delivered GOV.UK, saved billions for the taxpayer, won the Design of the Year Award and – most importantly – delivered substantially improved services for millions of people.

We’re used to working as a team so we hope it won’t take us long to get up and going.

“This group brings extraordinary skills and experience to the Co-op, and I’m delighted that we’ve persuaded them to join us, but they won’t be the last brilliant digital people we’ll bring in. If you’re interested in creating fantastic digital services with co-operative values keep an eye on this blog. We’ll be looking for help.”

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