In February 2014, Peter Armitage, Group Chairman of international total facilities management provider OCS, celebrated 35 years with the company. Since he was appointed to his first role in Cannon Hygiene in the late 70s, Peter has seen many changes.
Peter joined Cannon Hygiene in 1979 to represent what was at the time a minority investment for the Group. In 1981, he became finance director of the Group’s London-based Smarts laundry business where he was appointed joint managing director four years later. In 1987, he became a Director and Company Secretary of the Group Board and took on the role of Finance Director in 1995. The next ten years saw him become managing director of OCS International in 2001, and Group Chairman in 2005, with a focus on protecting the interests of company shareholders and forging the unity of the Group.
‘Thirty five years ago, OCS was a collection of over 100 small to medium-sized companies,’ commented Peter. ‘We had some activity in Portugal and Ireland, but most of the businesses were UK-based and operating autonomously. Today, we are very much an international Group operating in 40 different countries with unified business practices and drawing on centralised back-of-house resources.’
Peter describes OCS’s bright future: ‘What makes us different and stand out from our competitors are our strong family values. These enable us to take a long term view and to go from strength to strength in line with our ethos ‘Here today, Here tomorrow. My 35 years with the business has passed very quickly because you don’t stand still at OCS: new challenges present themselves all the time. We’re an exciting company that offers great opportunities and future prospects to people who come to work with us. I believe the Group will continue to grow, securing a solid future for our staff and for the family shareholders, who have always shown enormous loyalty over the years.’