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John Lewis Partnership names Rita Clifton as new deputy chair

By Huw Hughes

17 Dec 2020

The John Lewis Partnership has announced the appointment of Rita Clifton as its new deputy chair, effective February.

Clifton has experience as a non-executive director at a number of consumer-facing companies, including Asos, whose board she was on for six years before stepping down earlier this year.

She has also held a number of top positions working on many brand strategies of companies over the years, including as vice chairman and strategy director at Saatchi & Saatchi, London CEO and chairman of Interbrand. and co-founder of BrandCap.

Clifton will replace Keith Williams, who stepped down from the board in April 2020 after six years.

Clifton joins at an important time for John Lewis, which earlier this year announced the permanent closure of eight stores and thousands of job cuts as part of its new five-year plan to return to sustainable profits by 2025.

“I’m delighted that Rita is joining the Partnership as Deputy Chairman. She brings a wealth of leadership experience across an impressive career,” Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said in a statement.

White continued: “Rita is a perfect fit for the Partnership and we’ll benefit greatly from her deep expertise in brand strategy and retail. I’m very grateful to Andy Martin who has done a fantastic job as our interim deputy chairman.”

Clifton commented: “Waitrose and John Lewis are two of the country’s most trusted brands, which are loved by customers. I’ve long admired the Partnership’s products, purpose and unique approach to doing business. I’m looking forward to joining the Board as the Partnership enters the next exciting phase in its development.”

John Lewis also announced that Andy Martin will stay on as non-executive director of the partnership and chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.

Photo credit: John Lewis media gallery