John Lewis Partnership announces changes to executive team

The John Lewis Partnership has appointed James Bailey as its new executive director, Waitrose. He joins from Sainsbury’s where he was buying director for Grocery and will start in the Partnership today.

Recruitment is also underway for the role of executive director, John Lewis and an announcement will be made in due course.

The new roles build on the changes to the management structure unveiled last year to create a single partnership. This involved replacing the separate management boards for John Lewis and Waitrose with a single executive team and bringing together functions such as customer service, strategy, finance, supply chain, property and HR. 

Sharon White, partner & chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I am thrilled that James is joining us. He has had an exceptional 18 years at Sainsbury’s, across finance, strategy, convenience and commercial and then latterly as Buying Director for Grocery with accountability for more than half the company’s turnover and three times the size of Waitrose. His varied background outside of retail also makes him a great cultural fit for the Partnership and I am looking forward to working with him.   

“These new Executive Director roles at Waitrose and John Lewis will allow us to get the best of both worlds out of our new management structure. We’ll have all the benefits of bringing together activities that are best organised pan-Partnership and reducing duplication while still recognising that there are important differences in the way you run a department store and a supermarket.”

Bailey said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Partnership. It’s a business I’ve admired for a long time for its relentless focus on quality and service and it’s defining purpose as an employee-owned organisation. Waitrose is the UK’s best supermarket and it’s a privilege to join the team.”

The two new executive directors will become members of the seven-person executive team under the chairman. Their roles are: 

  • Executive director, John Lewis – with responsibility for trading, merchandising, marketing and developing customer propositions for shops and Johnlewis.com
  • Executive director, Waitrose – with the same responsibilities, including Waitrose.com

They will also work together to develop new products and services where the retailer sees opportunity to delight customers and leverage the unique power of our combined brands.

The full Executive team can be found here.

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