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John Lewis Partnership appoints new chairman

By Rachel Douglass


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Jason Tarry, incoming chairman for JLP. Credits: John Lewis Partnership.

The successor to outgoing chairman Sharon White has finally been named at John Lewis Partnership (JLP), where former chief executive officer for Tesco, Jason Tarry, is to take on the helm position of the board.

White announced her intention to step down from the retail group’s board in the latter half of 2023 as she began to enter the final stages of her five-year term, which would have concluded February 2025. This will come to a more abrupt end, however, with Tarry set to enter the role from September, at which point White will exit and support the transition.

In her place, Tarry, who was described by JLP as being “supportive” of its ongoing turnaround strategy, brings to the position over 33 years of experience at supermarket giant Tesco, where he had held a range of positions spanning general, operational and commercial management.

The executive was also credited with leading the expansion of Tesco’s F&F Clothing range across Europe, an important quality for John Lewis as the business looks to continue turning its attention towards its retail network.

JLP enters next phase of ‘modernisation’

It is this process that White has been overseeing since she entered the company back in 2020, at which time JLP had moved into what its deputy chairman Rita Clifton described as “one of the most testing periods in its history” – with both Covid and the cost-of-living crisis ravaging the business.

In a release, Clifton commented: “[White] has faced the toughest decisions and overseen the partnership’s financial recovery; we are in good financial health with a return to profit, and have a strong balance sheet with record investment planned this year.

“Sharon has also helped ensure that employee ownership of the Partnership is secure, is demonstrably focused on its purpose as a force for good and with an open and inclusive culture.”

While Clifton’s perspective of White’s time at the company remains positive, she also welcomed Tarry as her successor, stating that his appointment comes as the company moves into the “next phase of modernisation focused on [its] core retail business as well as future growth”.

Clifton added that JLP, where the term and commitment of the chairman’s role would remain unchanged, was “confident that [Tarry] will provide the kind of inspiration leadership, a proven track record in multi-channel, multi-category retail success and a strong identification with partnership values that [the company is] seeking in this role”.

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