John Lewis Partnership chairman Sharon White has announced that she plans to step down from the role at the end of her five-year term in February 2025.
As part of the recruitment process for her successor, Sharon has also asked the partnership's board to review the accountabilities of the chairman’s role, to ensure that these continue to support the successful transformation of the business.
Rita Clifton, deputy chairman and chairman of the partnership's nominations committee, will oversee the appointment process, and the outcome will need to be approved by the board.
Sharon says: “The chairman of the John Lewis Partnership is a special and unique role in UK business. The chairman is responsible for the long-term health of the partnership’s model – commercial success twinned with a commitment to first-rate customer service and action in our communities.
“Having led the partnership through the pandemic and the worst of the cost of living crisis, it is important that there is now a smooth and orderly succession process and handover. The partnership is making progress in its modernisation and transformation with improving results. There is a long road ahead and I am committed to handing on the strongest possible partnership to my successor.”
The process to appoint the current chairman was started in November 2018. Sharon's appointment was announced in June 2019, and she started the role in February 2020.