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Merger of businesses

Third of top managers axed as John Lewis restructures

Sharon White: passionate about working together

John Lewis is axeing a third of its senior management in a move to bring the department store business and is Waitrose supermarkets into a single business.

Integration of the two brands will see about 75 roles removed from 225 senior management positions.

The company says its “Future Partnership” plan will lead to £100 million in cost savings.

Last month the company announced its first loss amid a difficult UK retail environment.

John Lewis Partnership said the two brands will continue to serve customers online and in store, but they will now be managed by a single executive team responsible for business strategy and performance.

Paula Nickolds, currently managing director of John Lewis & Partners, will become executive director, brand, responsible for the continued enhancement of the partnership’s brands and leading the development of customer experience and future innovations. She will lead brand, digital, marketing and services across the John Lewis Partnership.

Rob Collins will step down as managing director of Waitrose & Partners next year.

The new executive team from 3 February will be: Sharon White, chairman; Paul Nickolds, executive director of finance; Tracey Killen, executive director of people; Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations and Bérangère Michel, executive director of customer service. The company is yet to appoint trading and strategy executive directors.

John Lewis chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “These changes will be difficult for some of our partners and we will implement as carefully and sensitively as we can.”

Incoming chairman, Ms White, said: “I am passionate about working together as one Partnership. There is huge potential to unlock from partners working across our two great brands, providing brilliant service to the many customers who shop at both Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners.”



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