Spar UK has confirmed that UK managing director Jerry Marwood is to stand down after nearly nine years at the helm, as revealed by Retail Week on Tuesday.

Marwood, who will leave the company in early summer 2011, is credited with transforming the symbol group from an old-fashioned business to a modern operation.

SPAR Food Distributors, the SPAR UK holding board has already appointed a search company to look for Marwood’s successor.

Wholesale and retailer Peter Blakemore said on behalf of the Spar board: “Jerry has a desire to move on to seek new challenges and we have been working with him to map out a process which would ensure a smooth transition.

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

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