John Lewis Partnership chairman to step down

Sir Charlie Mayfield is to step down as chairman of the John Lewis Partnership after 11 years at the helm.

The Partnership confirmed it had begun the process of selecting a new chairman, who is set to be announced in the second half of 2019, with Mayfield stepping down in 2020.

“Although my departure is still a considerable way off, the appointment of my successor is a key responsibility,” Mayfield said.

“It is for this reason I have decided to lay out the timetable now to enable an open and thorough process to select the next chairman of the Partnership.”

Mayfield is the business’ fifth chairman in its almost 100-year history.

According to the Guardian, internal candidates include managing director of John Lewis department stores Paula Nickolds, head of Waitrose Rob Collins, and group financial director Patrick Lewis.

The new chairman will take the lead during a time of change for the group, which earlier this year declared its intention to focus on differentiation and innovation moving forward.

“As retail changes we need to tread a path that enables us to thrive as a business while building on the qualities that make us different,” Mayfield said.

“For us, the relentless pursuit of greater scale is not the right course.”

A more modern vision for John Lewis and Waitrose were put forward, focusing on core customers and better service, as well as a more targeted assortment of products unique to each offering.

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