Spar UK MD Jerry Marwood is to step down and will leave the company next summer.

Peter Blakemore, chairman of Spar Food Distributors, said Marwood was leaving to explore new challenges.

“Jerry has a desire to seek new challenges and we have been working with him to map out a process that will ensure a smooth transition,” he said.

“Thanks to Jerry and his team, we have a strong business model and are trading successfully in a competitive market. At the moment the focus of the board is on ensuring we continue in this way.”

Spar has appointed headhunters to search for a replacement.

Marwood has headed up Spar for nine years. He joined the company as retail director in 1996 and returned in 2002 following a three-year stint as MD of Newshops.

“I still have a number of exciting business initiatives to implement, a replacement to find and a handover to complete – all of which will take some time,” Marwood said. “Until then, it’s business as usual.”

Rivals were quick to pay tribute to Marwood. “He is a big asset to our sector so will be missed by Spar and all in our sector,” said Landmark MD Martin Williams.

Marwood is the second senior executive to quit Spar this year, after trading director Peter Miller unexpectedly resigned in April. At the time Spar said there were no plans to replace him.

Read more
Spar success driven by wine and fresh food (4 September 2010)
If anyone can, Jerry can (interview with Jerry Marwood; 26 June 2010)
Industry shock as Spar trading chief quits post (10 April 2010)