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Former GDS chief Mike Bracken joins Crystal Methodist's old firm

‘Delighted to take on this exciting role with the Co-operative’

Outgoing head of the Government Digital Service Mike Bracken is to join the troubled Co-operative Group, in the newly created role of chief digital officer.

Bracken will be responsible for the retailer's digital content and strategy.

Last year Bracken drew a salary of between £155,000 and £159,999 at the GDS. A spokesman from the Co-op refused to say how much he would be paid in the new job.

Before joining the Cabinet Office in 2011, Bracken was the Guardian's director of digital for three years.

The Co-op has undergone a major restructuring since admitting to a £1.5bn cash hole in 2013, following the so-called 'Crystal Methodist' scandal in which its then non-executive chairman, Reverend Paul Flowers, was filmed buying cocaine and methamphetamine.

The group's banking arm has only recently swung back into the black, posting profits of £227m this year.

Richard Pennycook, Co-op Group chief exec, said: “Mike brings with him outstanding and ground-breaking industry experience and will make a major contribution to our long-term recovery."

Bracken said: “I’m delighted to take on this exciting role with the Co-operative. The group’s ambition to deliver an improved digital experience for members will be fundamental to achieving the rebuild programme it has embarked upon.”

The spokesman added the role will also cover social media and digital marketing. ®

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