The Board of Barchester Healthcare has announced that its founder and Chief Executive, Mike Parsons, will be retiring from his role as Chief Executive at a date to be finalised in the next few months. Mike, who has been with the company for over 20 years will remain in his post until that point and will work with the Board on identifying a successor, and to put in place plans for an effective handover.Mike will remain on the Board of Barchester as a non-executive director to ensure that his experience of running the company and his great knowledge of the sector in which Barchester operates will be available to the Board and to his successor in due course as Chief Executive.Margaret Ford, the Chairman of Barchester, said; “The Board wishes to state its great gratitude to Mike for his work over 20 years to create one of the country’s most admired providers of care homes. His initial vision and drive have led to a company providing top quality services for over 10,000 residents, supported by a staff of over 17,000. Without Mike this provision and employment would not have happened. We owe him a huge amount. It is his decision to retire later this year, but by announcing this now we have the time and the opportunity to plan together for the future running of the company and a seamless handover when that occurs. After his retirement, I look forward to working closely with Mike as a continuing member of the Board.”Mike Parsons said: “My decision to retire this year from executive life comes after 20 years building a business that I take immense pride in. To spend so many years as a Chief Executive does bring with it strains, but also great satisfaction when I look at the quality of homes that Barchester has created. I am delighted that I shall be remaining on the Board and look forward to working with a new Chief Executive when he or she is in post on the next stages of the development of this company”.Mike will continue as Chairman of Barchester's Charitable Foundation and as Vice-Chairman of the Industry Association ECCA. He and his family remain very significant shareholders in the company.