Ocado was founded in January 2002 by Jonathan Faiman, Jason Gissing, and Tim Steiner, former merchant bankers with Goldman Sachs. When the company first started they ran every part of the business themselves. Ocado is a British Internet retailer specialising in groceries, headquartered in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. Although an independent business, Ocado is partly owned by the John Lewis Partnership pension fund.
Ocado deliver Waitrose Goods. Waitrose is a subsiduary of John Lewis.
In September 2006 Michael Grade became non-executive chairman of Ocado, shortly after Goldman Sachs were appointed as financial advisors. This led to perennial speculation that the business would seek a listing on the stock market. In July 2009 Ocado confirmed it was planning a stock market flotation. In November 2008 the John Lewis Partnership transferred its shareholding of 29% into its staff pension fund. It also agreed a five year supply deal with the business, replacing its previous one year rolling deal. This deal was replaced in May 2010 with a 10 year branding and supply agreement. Procter & Gamble took a 1% stake in the company the same year.
Ocado operates in England's South East, South Coast, Midlands, North West and most of Yorkshire.
The online grocer announced total yearly sales up 25% to £427 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of just £9 million.
With the flotation of the company widely regarded as a shambles Ocado shares fell to 146p, a sizeable discount on its 180p July flotation price, which had been slashed from a hoped for 200-275p range in order to get investors to sign up. Analysts remain divided over the merits of the loss-making business which picks customers' orders from a hi-tech warehouse in Hatfield.
As at March this year Ocado had not made a penny in pre-tax profit. Still, the company has got one million-plus customers, including at least half of all London home grocery shopping. Sceptics in the City doubt that Ocado can ever make money, given high delivery costs, and certainly not on orders of less than £100. Of all the companies represented in the shameful list of 35 Chairmen and CEO's this is the one we can shut down.
Tim Steiner is the Chief Executive Officer of Ocado, and a founding director.
Prior to Ocado, Tim spent eight years as a banker at Goldman Sachs. During his time there, he was based in London, Hong Kong and New York in the Fixed Income division. As CEO, Tim oversees all aspects of the business.
Tim Steiner, 39, went to Haberdashers' Aske School in Elstree before reading economics, finance and accountancy at Manchester University. He then worked in fixed income for Goldman Sachs for eight years, meeting Jason Gissing, who did a degree at Worcester College, Oxford, where he was famously in the same Bullingdon Club photograph as Chancellor George Osborne (below).
On 18th October, Tim Steiner signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor, his business partner's old drinking buddy, to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.
For this reason Tim is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Ocado.
You can get everything you need from the Co-op and they don't charge for deliveries.