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Mark Smith

Chief Executive, The Southern Co-op, 
The Prince's Ambassador for South East
Mark Smith, Chief Executive, The Southern Co-operative

Mark has spent much of his professional career in the retail sector including senior Finance and Commercial roles with Marks and Spencer plc working in both their UK and overseas businesses. He joined The Southern Co-operative in 2005 as Chief Financial Officer, and was promoted to become Chief Executive in October 2008. The Southern Co-operative is an independent regional business owned by its customer and colleague members. It employs c4500 people primarily in 250 trading outlets across the South of England. Turnover is c£350m pa.

Mark is Chairman of The Portsmouth Cultural Trust, a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, a member of the Institute of Directors and a former Director of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. He joined the BITC South East Advisory Board in 2015.

Mark has supported Business in the Community’s development of Business Class in Solent. He is the Chair of the existing Business Class cluster, and has been instrumental in driving recruitment of companies to engage with education in the region. Mark is recognized as a business leader for responsible business based on the Co-operative’s values and ambitions.

Mark has led a Business in the Community Seeing is Believing on education, and has hosted and chaired events in the region to promote responsible business. Mark also spoke at a Business in the Community House of Lord’s event to demonstrate the value of business engagement in employability and education.

The Solent Business Class cluster development and delivery would not have happened without Mark’s leadership as the CEO of a respected company that is committed to responsible business.

As a Prince's Ambassador: Mark will lead on the development of a responsible business network in Solent to promote the practice of good responsible business. Business in the Community will support this work to offer greater understanding and engagement with the agenda.