The chief executive of Pets at Home has announced he will quit the business next summer after 11 years with the firm.
Peter Pritchard joined the retailer in 2011 as commercial director, working his way up to chief executive in March 2018.
The decision to leave comes as Pets at Home said profits in the six months to the end of September are expected to be at the top end of City expectations.
A search for Mr Pritchard’s successor will begin both internally and externally, the company added.
He will be paid his salary and bonuses for the rest of the year – his pay was £2.1 million last year – and will also be entitled to cash in some of his long-term share plans as the board consider him a “good leaver”.
Mr Pritchard said: “Having completed everything that I set out to achieve in 2018, next summer is the right time to take well-earned rest and to hand over the reins to a new leader who will continue this journey.”
During his tenure, he expanded the business’s interests in additional services including vets and grooming salons and helped create a loyalty scheme which now has 6.5 million active members.
He also invested £20 million in updating the retailer’s digital business and brought sales up to £1 billion during the pandemic for the first time in its history.
Pets at Home enjoyed a strong pandemic because stores remained open due to being classed as an “essential” retailer.
It also saw strong growth from a boom in pet ownership during lockdown, with new owners looking to pamper their animals with top-of-the-line products and food.
The robust sales led to the company handing back £30 million in business rates relief during the pandemic.
Business continues to grow and the company also revealed “the strong performance witnessed across both parts of the business during the second half of last year has continued throughout the past six months”.