Vivian Woodell – Director

Vivian is the founder and former Chief Executive of The Phone Co-op, one of the UK’s most innovative and successful new co-operative enterprises. Since 1998, The Phone Co-op, which is owned and controlled by its consumer members, has built a profitable business with 30,000 telephone and internet customers, over 70 employees, and an annual turnover of £11 million.

Vivian is also an elected director of The Midcounties Co-operative, one of the UK’s largest independent retail co-operatives, with a turnover of £1 billion, where he also served as President for eight years; he currently served on the Energy Committee, the board subcommittee which oversees Co-operative Energy, as well as sitting on the board of Co-operatives UK. In addition, he has previously served as a member of the Senate and National Members’ Council at The Co-operative Group.

Prior to starting The Phone Co-op, Vivian had no background in telecoms, but had worked extensively in the co-operative movement. His earlier roles include: Executive Director of the Social Economy Consortium, which managed Co-operative and Social Economy development projects in Central and Eastern Europe; and Project Manager with the European Social Economy Information Network, ARIÉS. In the past he has served as a board member of CECOP (the European Confederation of Worker Co-operatives), as a member of the executive of CICOPA (the equivalent global body, part of the International Co-operative Alliance) and as a trustee of Co-operative and Community Finance.