Co-op Digital team bags another former GDS leader

Former Government Digital Service chief Stephen Foreshew-Cain is to join the Co-op, where his former boss Mike Bracken went after his own departure from GDS last year.

Foreshew-Cain is to join the Co-op Digital as chief operating officer – Photo credit: GDS

Foreshew-Cain, who left GDS around six weeks ago, will start his new role at the Co-op as chief operating officer for digital next month.

He will be joining a number of other former GDS staff there, including the service’s first leader Mike Bracken – who was Foreshew-Cain’s boss until he left in 2015 to become chief digital officer at the Co-op.

In a blogpost announcing his new job at the Co-op, Foreshew-Cain described GDS as “an extraordinary place to work” and said he would miss the “purpose and culture of the organisation” the most.

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Of his new role, he said that the Co-op’s organisational thinking was in line with his own, saying that it was made up of passionate, community-minded people and puts members’ needs before shareholders’.

He added it “is using digital to develop relationships that build community engagement and collaboration”.

Foreshew-Cain’s move follows a number of other high-profile GDS staff taking on jobs at the Co-op.

GDS technical architect Mat Wall, deputy director Tom Loosemore, director of strategy Russell Davies and director of design Ben Terrett all joined in the last six months of 2015, while head of content design Sarah Richards joined in May this year.

The Co-op also snapped up Claire Braithwaite, the former head of Tech North – the government’s initiative to boost the tech industry in the north – after her surprise departure earlier this year.

“There’s a reason that I’m not the first (nor probably the last) public-sector employee to find that the values and the purpose of The Co-op resonate,” Foreshew-Cain said in his blogpost.

“As a ‘career consultant’ prior to joining government, I can say that it has a different DNA to other large commercial organisations I’ve worked with. And I think that’s important.”

He added: “I didn’t think I’d find as exciting and inspirational a challenge as the one GDS had presented, but I was wrong.”


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