Lord Grade of Yarmouth
The major corporate event during 2010 was our initial public offering and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome both pre and post IPO shareholders to our first annual report as a public listed company. As a result of the IPO the Group has been able to accelerate its growth plans.
In the lead up to the IPO, a new ten year agreement was negotiated and completed with Waitrose (the grocery division of John Lewis Partnership), our sourcing partner from day one. Without the support of the John Lewis Partnership (and subsequently the John Lewis Pension Fund) Ocado would not be the exciting business it is today and it is fitting to record their crucial role in the Ocado story with our gratitude.
We continue to be a flexible and entrepreneurial company while recognising the importance of high standards of corporate governance. Our values underpin our approach to doing business. We have worked over the year towards complying with the corporate governance requirements and continue to do so.
As part of our transition towards compliance with the corporate governance requirements, the Board has said farewell to Tom Clayton, Jonathan Faiman, Jeremy Frampton, Patrick Lewis and Michael Robarts. On behalf of the Board I would like to pay thanks to them for their valuable contributions and wish them every success in their future endeavours. We have welcomed Ruth Anderson and David Grigson to the Board as independent Non-Executive Directors. They bring with them a wealth of experience and have already settled in as integral members of the Board. David is the Senior Independent Director and chairman of the Nomination Committee and Ruth is chairman of the Audit Committee.
Our customers are the people who drive our business and we continue to find ways to respond to their needs by creating a better customer experience and new ideas to improve their online shopping experience. Our employees continue to demonstrate their willingness to respond. I would like to thank all members of the Ocado family for their continued energy, passion, expertise and commitment during this milestone year.
I believe our focus on Ocado's superior customer offer continues to position us favourably as the market expands - delighting our customers and creating value for our shareholders. I look forward to our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers continuing to share in Ocado's growth and successes.