Bill Laird, managing director of wholesale buying and marketing organisation the Today’s Group, passed away on Saturday after a long illness.

Laird, 54, spent his entire career within the grocery and retail sectors, initially working in store management roles for Wm. Low and Asda. He spent seven years at Midcounties Co-operative, being promoted from group general manager to chief operating officer, where he led a sustained period of growth and business change before joining Nisa-Today’s as managing director of the Today’s Group.

He was instrumental in the de-merger from Nisa-Today’s and the formation of the Today’s Group in January 2012 to create Today’s Wholesale Services Ltd as a standalone wholesale buying group. Among his achievements at the group were the creation of a new technology platform, and the formation of an on-trade division.

Funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course. John Schofield will continue in his current role as acting managing director of Today’s Wholesale Services Ltd.