Russell Welsh, who served as interim Chief Operating Officer for 15 months at veterinary group Linnaeus, has been appointed as its Business Development Director.

The role is part of Linnaeus’s Executive Team and will focus on the growth of the business and investment into its practices across the UK and Ireland. Linnaeus owns 47 primary care practices and 17 referral practices, and employs nearly 5,000 Associates.

Russell said: “Linnaeus has very exciting plans for the future, and I am looking forward to supporting its growth and investment into its practices. The group’s commitment to clinical excellence and collaboration will continue to align with our approach to business development.” 

Having qualified as a vet in South Africa, Russell moved to the UK to work in primary care. He progressed to become Managing Director at Village Vet, overseeing its 32 sites across London, Hertfordshire and Cambridge and the London Vet Specialists referral centre.

After Village Vet became part of Linnaeus, Russell was appointed Managing Director of Primary Care at the group and later became interim Chief Operating Officer. He added:

“Working in an organisation like Linnaeus offers a range of opportunities for those looking to move into management or leadership. The company’s focus on development has supported my career progression, and shows that it’s possible to move from clinical practice into senior leadership if you’re interested in the commercial and operational aspects of this important sector.”

Bart Johnson, Chief Executive Officer at Linnaeus, commented:

“Russell is passionate about providing the best possible care to our patients by ensuring that our practices and their teams get the right support and investment. His knowledge of working as a vet means that our clinical teams continue to be our priority when we are making decisions about the future of the business.”

Russell lives in Hertfordshire with his family and their three dogs, three-legged cat and tortoise. Outside of work, he loves gardening and mountain biking.

Russell is supported by new Head of Acquisitions Peter Evans, who will focus on identifying new opportunities for Linnaeus and working with practices as they join the group. Peter joins Linnaeus from Dignity Plc, where he was Corporate Development Manager.

For more information about Linnaeus, visit or search for Linnaeus on LinkedIn.

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