Peter Marks

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Not to be confused with Irish hairdressing chain Peter Mark.
Peter Marks
Born Peter Vincent Marks
27 October 1949 (1949-10-27) (age 66)
Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Residence Eldwick, West Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Citizenship United Kingdom
Education St. Bede's Grammar School
Occupation Businessman
Years active 1967–present
Title Former CEO of The Co-operative Group (2000–2013)
Spouse(s) Julia Law (m. 1971)
Children 2

Peter Vincent Marks CBE (born 27 October 1949) is an English businessman, and the former Chief Executive of the member-owned retailer The Co-operative Group.[1]

Early life[edit]

He went to St. Bede's Grammar School, then a state grammar school, in Heaton which he left at the age of 17 to stack shelves.[2]


Marks first joined what became Yorkshire Co-operatives in 1967 as a management trainee in the Food Division. He was appointed Assistant Personnel Manager in 1974 and Personnel Manager in 1976.

In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Non-Food Trades Officer, responsible for the Department Stores, Funeral and Travel divisions In February 1996 the Food Division was added to his responsibilities. Later that year he was appointed Chief General Manager (Retail). When he joined in 1967, the Co-op had 25% of the grocery market; now it has around 9%. To deal with this, the company no longer has as many superstores but medium-sized stores. The company had 87,000 employees in 2007.

Chief Executive[edit]

Appointed Deputy Chief Executive officer in 1999, Marks became Chief Executive in 2000. In September 2002 Yorkshire and United Norwest Co-operatives merged as United Co-operatives. In July 2007 United Co-operatives merged with the Co-operative Group and Marks became chief executive of the new merged organisation, replacing Martin Beaumont.

Until the merger, Marks was a director on the Co-operative Group board and is on the board of the Bradford Centre Regeneration Company. His basic salary in 2010 was £900,000, with a performance-related bonus of £449,000.[3] His total emoluments in 2010 were £2,118,000, an increase of over 35% from the 2009 figure of £1,565,000.[4]

He announced his retirement as chief executive of the Co-operative Group in August 2012, not long after negotiating the purchase of 632 branches ("Verde") from Lloyds Banking Group.[5] It was the failure of this purchase that made public the extent of the losses the Co-operative bank had inherited through its merger with the former Britannia building society. This led in 2013 to a requirement to re-capitalise the Co-operative bank.

Marks was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to the retail trade.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Marks married Julia Law in Bradford in 1971. The couple have two daughters and live in Eldwick, West Yorkshire.

Marks is a keen musician in his spare time; he has said:

"I owe this business everything. It’s a fantastic business. I’ve never wanted or needed to work for anyone else. I’ve gone from nothing on the shop floor to one of the best jobs. Well, I can only think of one job better than this and that would be drumming for the Rolling Stones."[7]

He plays in a Bradford band, "Last Orders", who regularly gig in and around Bradford,[8] playing

"Chuck Berry style rock'n'roll to Lynyrd Skynyrd type rock of the 60s and 70s. Some country songs thrown in from such artists as The Eagles, Delbert McClinton and the like"[9]

He is also a supporter of Bradford City Football Club.[10]


  1. ^ Mason, Rowena (January 22, 2008). "Starting at the bottom gave Co-op chief a flying start". Yorkshire Post. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Susan (March 26, 2008). "Business big shot: Peter Marks, Co-op chief executive". The Times. 
  3. ^ The Co-operative Group, 'Building a Better Society: Annual Reports & Accounts 2010', p. 57
  4. ^
  5. ^ Rupert Neate (7 August 2012). "Co-op chief Peter Marks retires after securing Lloyds bank branches coup". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 8. 29 December 2012.
  7. ^ "On your Marks for a merger9". Insider Media. November 2005. 
  8. ^ Roberts, Patricia (October 5, 2004). "Full Marks to United's Peter". Manchester Evening News. 
  9. ^ "Last Orders band". 
  10. ^ Bawden, Tom (2011-02-18). "Co-op boss sets sights on retail's premier league". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-02-19.