The nation names Peter Marks as Orange Business Leader of the year

11 November 2009

Pictured above: Picture of Tom Alexander, CEO, Orange; Peter Marks; Allistair Darling

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group
The Orange Leader of the Year award, which was voted for in equal measure by members of the wider business community and an expert panel of judges, rewards Peter Marks’ innovation and excellence in business leadership.
Peter Marks has spent his entire working life within the Co-operative Movement, having joined Yorkshire Co-operatives in 1967 as a Management Trainee. Over his career, Peter has managed numerous Co-operative businesses, including the food, travel, funeral and department store operations. Since 2007, Peter has been Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, during which time he has overseen a renaissance of the Co-operative brand, combining improved financial performance and increased commitment to the Group’s ethical stand, culminating earlier this year in the acquisition of the Somerfield food store business and the merger with the Britannia Building Society.
Tom Alexander, CEO Orange UK, comments, “This year, more than ever, is a reason to celebrate and recognise business excellence and the National Business Awards provides a great platform to do this. At Orange, we believe that outstanding leadership is integral to outstanding performance and deserves recognition. Whether steering a business through tough times, opening minds to new ways of thinking or delivering trailblazing new approaches, the guidance, direction and inspiration of the leaders at the forefront of these enterprises is admirable. Nowhere are these qualities more demonstrable than in the leadership that Peter Marks has shown.”
Commenting on the Award Peter Marks said: ‘This award recognises a tremendous year of achievement for The Co-operative Group, which has included the acquisition of Somerfield, the merger with Britannia and the national launch of our revitalised brand. At a time when consumers are looking for both value and values in business, The Co-operative’s brand has become relevant and distinctive in a way it has not been for decades. Our growth and renaissance could not have been achieved without the enormous commitment and loyalty of our 120,000 colleagues across our family of businesses and this award is recognition of the hard work and dedication all of us have given.’
The National Business Awards took place at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Hosted by Kirsty Wark, respected journalist and TV presenter, the awards were also attended by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said, “I am always impressed with their (British business) ingenuity and endeavour, their drive and aspiration. That is why I am so pleased to be invited to this year’s National Business Awards. It is the pinnacle of business awards ceremonies and this is where Britain’s best, from across the public and private sectors, get the recognition and reward they deserve.”
Peter Marks was up against tough competition from fellow nominees that included:

  • Ian Cheshire, Group CEO of Kingfisher
  • Dr John Bird MBE, Editor in Chief and Founder of Big Issue
  • Dame Marjorie Scardino, CEO of Pearson Group
  • Sir William Sargent, CEO of Framestore

A full list of the year’s categories and winners can be found at: