The chief executive of convenience store Nisa is to step down, the firm confirmed this morning.
Nick Read, who has overseen a transformation of the firm and led it into takeover talks with Co-op, is to exit. The board is to kick off a process to find his replacement.
Read joined Nisa in December 2014 after revealing surprise losses and "business instability".
In July 2016 Nisa reported earnings of £7.3m marking the largest annual bottom line swing in the company’s 40-year history.
Today's company confirmation comes after trade publication Retail Express reported yesterday Read was heading for the door.
“My time at Nisa has been both challenging and eventful, and I am proud of our collective success in turning the business round," said Read.
The return to profitable growth was key to creating the confidence that enabled a sustainable business model for the benefit of all Nisa members. I am grateful for all the support I have received from colleagues and members.
At the end of August, Nisa entered into exclusive sales talks with Co-op.
The pair are thrashing out a £140m deal for Co-op to take over the firm's wholesale business that supplies Nisa 3,000 stores.
Nisa chairman Peter Hartley said: “We are grateful to Nick for his leadership during a challenging period for Nisa and the wider convenience sector. Nick and his team have brought much-needed stability to Nisa, and he will leave the business in a significantly improved financial position.”