John Lewis names new executive director

The John Lewis Partnership has appointed Pippa Wicks as its new executive director.

She joins from the Co-op Group, where she was deputy chief executive, and will start her new role in August.

Wicks will be responsible for trading, merchandising, marketing and developing propositions and services for John Lewis' shops and online.

Sharon White, partner and chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “She brings a wealth of experience of leading and developing businesses that deliver brilliant products and services to customers, both online and in stores.

“As we emerge from the pandemic there is tremendous opportunity for John Lewis to play an even bigger role in people’s lives. I am confident that under Pippa’s leadership the brand will continue to thrive.”

Wicks added: “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.”

This new appointment forms part of a seven-strong executive team and follows James Bailey joining as executive director of Waitrose in April.

Simon Coble will also continue in his role as trading director of John Lewis, reporting to Wicks.

She started her career as a senior manager with strategic management consultancy Bain & Company and then went on to be group chief financial officer of Europe’s largest textile and clothing manufacturer, Courtaulds Textiles, for seven years.

Wicks then became chief executive of business education provider FT Knowledge, before joining management consultancy firm AlixPartners in 2003. There she co-founded the firm’s European operations and took on a number of interim chief executive and chief operating officer positions at both UK and European companies.

In 2013, Wicks 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. She was appointed chief operating officer in 2014 and then deputy chief executive in March 2017, with specific responsibility for strategy and transformation.

Wicks has previously been a non-executive director for a variety of government departments, Hays, Ladbrokes, Hilton International and Arcadia.

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