• Marks to retire in May
  • Spent five years as CEO
  • In charge when Co-op bought Somerfield 
Marks oversaw Co-ops expansion in food, banking and travel

Marks oversaw Co-op's expansion in food, banking and travel

Peter Marks, chief executive of UK retailer The Co-operative Group, is to retire next year, the company announced today (7 August).

Marks plans to leave in May after six years as chief of The Co-op. He joined the UK's fifth-largest food retailer in 2007 after it merged with another co-operative retailer United Co-operatives. In all, on his retirement, Marks would have spent 45 years working for the "co-operative movement", the retailer said.

Under Marks, The Co-op made significant moves including buying UK food retailer Somerfield.

He said The Co-op had been "transformed" during his tenture "while staying true to our roots as a mutual".

The Co-op chairman Len Wardle added: "Peter has done a truly outstanding job for The Co-operative Group. He was the architect of the current strategy to ensure that we developed real scale in our key businesses."

Click here to read analysts' thoughts on the move.

Show the press release


Co-operative Group Chief Peter Marks to retire next year

August 07, 2012

The Board of The Co-operative Group announces that Peter Marks, the Group Chief Executive, intends to retire in May 2013, aged 63, after six years in his current role and 45 years working within the wider Co-operative Movement.

Peter Marks became Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group in 2007 after the merger of the Group with United Co-operatives, which he had previously led. Under his leadership and that of the wider management team, The Co-operative Group has been transformed operationally and strategically, while maintaining its unique focus on trust as an ethically-driven and member-owned business.

Since 2007 The Co-operative Group has:

Dramatically increased its presence in the food retail market, consolidating its position as the fifth largest player with the acquisition of Somerfield

Created an ethically sound “super mutual” in the financial services sector with the merger with Britannia and the recent signing of heads of terms to acquire the Lloyds Banking Group Verde business

Strengthened the Group’s Specialist Businesses with the considerable expansion of Legal Services and the creation of the joint venture with Thomas Cook in travel

Worked to create a more unified business, ensuring that the benefits of the family of businesses can be delivered across our strong membership and customer base

Peter Marks will retire at The Co-operative Group’s Annual General Meeting on 18 May 2013. The Board will now start the formal process for recruiting a successor, which will involve the consideration of both internal and external candidates. At the same time, Peter will step down as a Director from all the Group Subsidiaries, including the Boards of Co-operative Banking Group Limited and The Co-operative Bank Plc.

Len Wardle, Chairman of The Co-operative Group, said:

"Peter has done a truly outstanding job for The Co-operative Group. He was the architect of the current strategy to ensure that we developed real scale in our key businesses. Peter has led a strong management team which has ensured that those businesses are now stronger and better able to deliver for our millions of customers. As a result, The Co-operative Group is better placed than ever before to do what it does best – offering a real alternative on the high street with a unique focus on ethical business under a brand which, more than any other, stands for trust. Peter will retire next year with our thanks and good wishes for the future. He will remain with the Group until our AGM next year, which will ensure an orderly transition to his eventual successor.”

Peter Marks said:

"I am extremely proud of what has been achieved at The Co-operative Group over the past five years. We have transformed this business while staying true to our roots as a mutual, ensuring that we now offer value with values to millions more customers than ever before. Our ownership model means that the top management team has been able to take strategic decisions for the long term, in the interests of our members and customers and I am confident we have laid the foundations for the on-going success of the Group.

“I have a great team around me; one that has been strengthened over the past year as the Group has continued to attract top talent across its businesses. Given all we have achieved, it now feels like the right time for me to stand down. I know this business will continue to flourish for years to come because of our determination to put the customer at the centre of everything we do and because I leave the Group in very safe hands.”


Original source: The Co-operative Group