Was: Commercial director for fresh foods atTesco
Now: Chairman of Go Outdoors
Years spent in grocery: 22

Career background: Holmes has spent the vast majority of his retail career at Tesco, joining the supermarket giant in 1988 and working his way up the organisation. During his 22 years there he held a variety of roles including CEO of Tesco’s convenience store operation Tesco Express, commercial director for fresh foods, operations director for superstores and finance director for the UK business. He stepped down as commercial director for fresh foods in June 2010 - the day after it was announced to the press that Sir Terry Leahy was to step down as chief executive officer.

What were your biggest achievements in grocery? “Over 20 years, it’s hard to single out just one achievement, but if pushed I would probably say the building of Tesco’s convenience business was a massive team achievement - both in terms of taking Tesco Express to a business of scale and getting in helping the One Stop business to thrive in Tesco’s ownership,” says Holmes.

What are you doing now? Holmes is currently chairman of camping retailer Go Outdoors and is also a director for the Admiral Group and new homes builder Bovis Homes.

How is your current role different from those you held before? “Every role brings new challenges and opportunities,” says Holmes. “Go Outdoors is an exciting, high-growth retailer and therefore my main role is to help guide the team to deliver their vision for the business.”

Do you miss grocery and will you come back? “Food retailing is a fantastic sector and leads the way on so many issues, so I am sure I will stay involved in some way,” he says.