Bill Laird, managing director of the Today's Group, died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning (16 January 2016) following a long illness.

A member of the Council of the Scottish Wholesale Association, Bill spent his entire career in the grocery and retail sectors, initially working in store-based management roles for Wm Low and ASDA followed by various field management roles at Texas Homecare, Woolworths plc and Somerfield.

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.

Bill was instrumental in the de-merger from Nisa-Today's and the formation of the Today's Group in January 2012, creating Today's Wholesale Services Ltd as a standalone wholesale buying group.

During his time at the helm, he instigated many new initiatives, including the creation of a state-of-the-art technology platform for the group, the formation of an on-trade division and an interactive digital retail magazine.

As well as being totally focused on the challenge of running the UK's leading buying group, Bill was always fiercely loyal to his staff and colleagues.

A genial Scot with a mischievous sense of humour, he will be greatly missed by his team in Doncaster, members of Today's Group, the board of directors of TWS Ltd and all his many friends in the wider wholesale, retail and supplier community.

We are sure you will join us in passing our deepest sympathies to Bill's wife Dawn and their children Alexander, Aletia and Emelia. 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 Limited.

A book of condolence will be opened shortly on the Today's Group corporate website for anyone wishing to leave a message for Bill's family.