Planet Organic CEO Peter Marsh has announced that later this year he will retire from the position he’s held since 2008.
“After 13 very enjoyable years at Planet Organic, I will be retiring from my role as chief executive officer this year as I turn 65,” Marsh states. “We have started a process to find my successor and I will continue as CEO until the new person is securely in position.”
Since Marsh took up the post, the organic supermarket chain’s stable has grown from five to 11 branches – including four attained through its 2020 acquisition of As Nature Intended – and a twelfth is planned for Bermondsey in September.
“So much has happened since I became CEO in 2008 when we had just five stores,” he says. “We have now grown the number of stores to 11, making us the largest organic food and specialist health retailer in the country. More importantly is that the Planet Organic ethos of healthy and sustainable food that 25 years ago was considered a bit quirky has become mainstream.
“We have become industry leaders in plastic-free packaging, using almost exclusively recyclable and compostable materials. We buy ethically and boast zero edible food waste. That our ethos here has now become something for other retailers to aim for is perhaps our best achievement.”
Peter has calmly steered us through this unprecedented pandemic, as well as Brexit and the day-to-day issues that are in the nature of running a supermarket chain
Marsh says he feels it’s the right time for him to leave and for Planet Organic to bring in a new CEO. “In the last two years we have raised £10 million of long-term equity and debt funding from the consumer-focused fund, Inverleith, and from Triodos bank. We have now launched a UK-wide fresh delivery service and are well positioned to take our offer to new communities. We successfully opened Queen’s Park 18 months ago, integrated four new stores from our acquisition of As Nature Intended, and now plan to open a new store in Bermondsey in September this year. There is lots more to do and it is an exciting time for a new CEO to take on the challenge.”
Adds Ben Thomson, Planet Organic chair: “Peter epitomizes all the best values of Planet Organic. He has championed organic food and other products that keep us healthy; he has believed in sustainable packaging and unpackaged solutions which are good for our planet; and he has understood the community here at Planet Organic from the customers to our team across the 11 stores.
“Peter has calmly steered us through this unprecedented pandemic, as well as Brexit and the day-to-day issues that are in the nature of running a supermarket chain. The board and employees express huge gratitude for all he has done. His successor has much to live up to but will join a business at a time of ongoing growth and with a clear strategy to be right at the centre of healthy and sustainable food and products in the UK.”