John Schofield

Tributes have poured in from across the wholesale sector following the death of former Unitas finance director John Schofield.

Schofield played an important role in the merger of Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group in 2018, which led to the creation of Unitas.

He was previously finance director of Nisa-Today’s but left the business following the de-merger of the two businesses in 2011.

He subsequently held the position of acting MD and finance director at Today’s Group.

Schofield retired as Unitas finance director in May 2019.

Unitas MD John Kinney, who led the tributes to Schofield, said: “With sadness I have to announce that John Schofield passed away earlier this week.

“John retired following the formation of Unitas but sadly developed a brain tumour and passed away this week following an illness. John was a fabulous FD, colleague and friend and will be sadly missed.”

Former Nisa CEO Neil Turton said: “John was my closest colleague at Nisa. He was Nisa finance director in the ‘growth years’ when Nisa opened the huge Scunthorpe distribution centre. John was a real gentleman, professionally skilled but modest and unassuming. His advice and skills helped me so much, after I was appointed MD.

”As John was a Sheffield Wednesday fan, we shared much football banter but also John was key to making the transition from a founder-run business for Nisa into a dynamic growth company with his finance and people skills. He was liked and trusted by everyone.”

Costcutter founder Colin Graves hailed Schofield as “a great person”.

“He was very professional in all the positions he held in his career and I had tremendous respect for him. John you will be sadly missed by everyone, but you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace my friend,” he said.

Meanwhile former Today’s non-executive chairman Mark Windebank said: ”Very sad to hear this news. John was indeed a great FD and I was lucky enough to have worked with him for many successful years in Nisa-Today’s and then the Today’s Group.

“He supported all his colleagues and was great company on the many memorable events and nights out we had around the globe. My condolences to all his family and friends.”

Former Nisa-Today’s retail council chair Leo Gillen said: “John was a great CEO at Nisa-Today’s and did more to progress the business than many people know. It was an honour to work with him on the board and my condolences are with his son and family with many warm memories of John.”