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Co-operative Bank CEO David Cunningham leaving the bank at the end of July

Co-operative Bank CEO David Cunningham leaving the bank at the end of July

The Co-operative Bank says its CEO, David Cunningham, will leave the bank on July 31.

"Following nine years with The Co-operative Bank, Chief Executive Officer David Cunningham has resigned from his position effective 31 July 2021," Chairman Sarah Haydon says. 

Haydon says Cunningham has been instrumental in driving substantial change to position the bank as a contemporary, full-service bank for everyday New Zealanders.

A former Westpac executive, Cunningham joined The Co-operative Bank in 2012, shortly after the PSIS became a registered bank. He headed up distribution and product management prior to becoming CEO in 2017, following Bruce McLachlan's departure.

"During this period the Bank has grown from 120,000 to 170,000 customers, built market-leading digital services, modernised the frontline distribution network, developed strong risk disciplines [and] uniquely positioned the Co-op brand," says Haydon. 

"Whilst the Board undertakes a CEO recruitment process, the Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Bevan Miller, will adopt the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer from 1 August 2021 (subject to non-objection from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand)," she says.

Cunningham says he'll have plenty of time to consider his future after leaving the bank given he plans to take a sabbatical, which will include bicycling across Australia to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

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As an aside, the NZ top brass seems to be throwing in the towel across a range of industries quite regularly. Subjectivity, not a good sign.

The average tenure of a CEO is typically only four or five years but that's similar to many other countries. In many ways regular turnover of executives should be seen positively, particularly if they are moving candidates upwards to promote change and renewal.

"Up or out" as they say.

I'm suggesting that the challenge might be too much for many at present. But as you suggest, it's possibly just churn.

ruined co-ops name I believe

One of the best bankers I ever worked for ... a long time ago. High integrity.