Compass Group has announced that Gary Green has informed its Board that he wishes to retire as Group Chief Operating Officer (COO), North America and as a director of Compass Group PLC. He will step down from the Board on November 30, 2023 but remain available to the company until March 31, 2024. He will be succeeded by current CFO Palmer Brown, with Petros Parras, currently regional finance director for Europe Middle East, assuming the role of group CFO.
Brown joined the U.S. business 22 years ago and has spent most of his working career in North America in a variety of senior finance, strategy, and legal roles. He has been responsible for many strategic acquisitions and disposals for the Group and served as Group Commercial Director before becoming Group CFO in 2021.
Green joined the Compass North American operation in 1994, when the British multinational conglomerate first entered the market with its acquisition of Canteen Vending, and was named to head the North American unit five years later. At the time, it had annual revenues of around $2.6 billion. Last year, it had $21.9 billion. Here is an interview he conducted with FM shortly after taking the helm.
“My Compass journey started in 1986 when I joined the Group in the UK before moving to the USA in 1994,” Green stated. “I am honoured to have led the North American business as its COO over the past two decades and I’m very grateful for the many opportunities and experiences that this role has offered me. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside many talented colleagues across the Group, and given the strength of our people and culture, I believe now is the time to hand over the business to the extremely capable team. I am delighted that the Board has appointed Palmer Brown as my successor. Palmer and I have worked closely for over two decades and he is absolutely the best person to drive the business forward.”
“Over a career of nearly 40 years, Gary has made an outstanding contribution to Compass Group, and built a remarkable business in North America,” said Compass Group PLC Chairman Ian Meakins. “Many of the processes and strategic initiatives he’s implemented in the region are being adopted elsewhere in the business with great success. In recent years, Gary skilfully navigated the pandemic, building an even stronger foundation from which the business can thrive, and firmly setting it on a path of sustainable growth for the future. The Board wishes Gary and his family every happiness following his retirement.”
“I would like to thank Gary for his exceptional contribution to the business,” added Compass Group CEO Dominic Blakemore. “Gary was Group Chief Operating Officer for North America for 24 years and has been instrumental in making the region the most successful in our portfolio. During his tenure, Gary has led the business to deliver consistently strong financial performance. His track record in North America has been unparalleled, growing our North American business’s revenues from just under £2 billion in 1999 to over £17 billion in 2022 whilst increasing profits from £75 million to £1.2 billion over the same period. On a personal note, I feel honoured to have worked with Gary for the past 11 years and wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.”