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John Lewis gets new boss

PippaWicksJLThe John Lewis Partnership has appointed Co-op executive Pippa Wicks as John Lewis executive director for John Lewis. 

Wicks was Co-op Group deputy chief executive and will start her new role in August. 

She will be responsible for trading, merchandising, marketing and developing propositions and services for John Lewis shops and johnlewis.com.

‘I am delighted to welcome Pippa to the Partnership. She brings a wealth of experience of leading and developing businesses that deliver brilliant products and services to customers, both online and in stores. Pippa has an exceptional track record, including at the Co-op Group which, as a membership organisation, shares similar values to the Partnership in terms of the commitment to the communities we serve,’ says Sharon White, John Lewis chairman.

The move further changes the management policy put in place by the previous JLP chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, which combined the management of John Lewis and Waitrose.

Wicks will be the fifth woman on an eight-strong board at the John Lewis Partnership under White.

‘I feel extremely privileged to be joining the John Lewis Partnership at such an important time in its history. As executive director responsible for the John Lewis business I look forward to working closely with partners to steer through these extraordinary times in society and in retail. As the biggest employee-owned business in the UK and one of the biggest in the world there is an opportunity to provide both exceptional service for customers as well as really meaningful work for partners,’ says Wicks. 

She began her career as a senior manager with strategic management consultancy Bain & Company and then went on to be group cfo of Courtaulds Textiles for seven years. Becoming ceo of FT Knowledge, a division of Pearson and one of the largest business education providers followed and then in 2003 she joined AlixPartners, a global management consulting and advisory firm. There she co-founded the firm’s European operations and took on a number of interim ceo and coo positions at both UK and European companies. In 2013 Pippa became involved with the Co-op when she was part of the team tasked with rebuilding the mutual following a sustained period of difficult trading and boardroom disruption. With the Co-op back on track Wicks was appointed coo in 2014 and then deputy chief executive in March 2017, with specific responsibility for strategy and transformation as well as its Funeralcare, Legal Services and Co-op Insurance businesses. She has previously been a non-executive director for a variety of government departments as well as Hays, Ladbrokes, Hilton International and Arcadia. She is currently chair of the Foundation Council of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, vice-chair at AlixPartners and a non-executive director of the Metropolitan Police Service.