Waitrose Management team
The Waitrose Board is responsible for and manages Waitrose's commercial activity and develops the strategy and business plan for the company.
All board members are appointed by the Chairman of the Partnership. Rob Collins, Managing Director, represents Waitrose on the Partnership Board.
Rob CollinsManaging Director view | close biography
Managing Director of Waitrose, the supermarket division of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership.
Rob joined the Partnership as a graduate trainee in 1993. He started in the John Lewis Oxford Street store and progressed to a number of roles, including Managing Director of Aberdeen and Cribbs Causeway (Bristol) stores.
Rob was John Lewis Director of Selling Support from 2005 until 2007 when he moved to Waitrose as Director, e-Commerce. After three years he was promoted to the Waitrose Management Board as Personnel Director in 2010. Rob was Retail Director in 2012 and became Managing Director in April 2016.
A graduate of Edinburgh University, where he read Spanish and Business Studies, Rob spent a year working for leading textile firm, Coats Viyella, in Argentina.
Helen HydePersonnel Director view | close biography
Helen Hyde is Personnel Director of Waitrose, the supermarket division of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership.
The Personnel Director works with the Waitrose Board to define a strategy that enables Waitrose to meet its financial and other targets, ensuring the sustainability of the business model in a way that is consistent with the Partner Strategy's ultimate purpose and the Partnership's principles. The role brings to the Waitrose Board recommendations on the long term deliverables around the Partner Strategy and ensures the business is legally compliant and a safe place to work, operating within the policy framework of the Partnership Board. The Personnel Director is responsible for the Partner experience for the 50,000 Waitrose Partners and leads the learning and development, Business Partnering and recruitment for Waitrose.
Helen read English and Drama at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. She joined the Partnership as a Graduate Trainee from University in 1988 in the Department Store Division. After 15 years holding a number of different posts she moved to the Corporate division where she spent six years. In 2009 she joined the Waitrose Management Board as Divisional Registrar. This is an independent role which provides assurance that the Partnership's culture and ethos is being adhered to and ensures that Partner opinion is heard and can positively influence outcomes. It also looks after the support and welfare function for Partners.
David JonesPartnership Registrar view | close biography
As a Partnership Registrar, David's role is to ensure the business upholds the core principles of the Partnership through three key activities: assure, influence and support.
David joined Waitrose in 1982 as a graduate trainee. After training in various London branches in 1984 he was appointed Assistant Branch Manager at Temple Fortune. In 1987 he became Deputy Manager at Epsom before being appointed Branch Manager at Bromley in Kent in 1989. Two years later he opened the new Waitrose at Longfield in Kent before joining the Waitrose Buying Directorate in 1994. Following roles as Central Buyer Pork and Bacon, Central Buyer Dairy and Head of Buying Services, he moved to our Corporate offices in 2005 as Deputy Partners' Counsellor where he was responsible for hearing final appeals against dismissal and third stage grievances. In 2007 David returned to Waitrose where his last role was Director, Ambient Buying before transferring to John Lewis as Divisional Registrar at the start of 2009. David has been actively involved in the Partnership's democracy since 1991. He was elected to the Board in 1999 and was a trustee of the pension fund until 2008. In 2002 he was asked to chair a special committee to look at the future of pension provision within the Partnership which recommended keeping the final salary scheme. In 2010 David became Supply Chain Director moving to his current role in September 2015.
Nigel KeenDirector, Property Services and Property and Development Director, Waitrose view | close biography
Overall responsibility for the Partnership's property portfolio together with the property acquisition teams, as well as being responsible for the growth strategy of Waitrose.
Nigel joined the Partnership in 1999 as Deputy Director of Building, then Director of Building and Services, responsible for the delivery of the development programme for both Waitrose and John Lewis, encompassing all elements of the design and construction process. In 2010 his title changed to Director, Property Services and Property and Development Director, Waitrose.
Before joining the Partnership Nigel worked for Tesco as a quantity surveyor, gaining experience in all areas of the property process from acquisition through to construction. He left Tesco as Construction Director, responsible for delivering Tesco's development programme.
Mike SackmanDirector, IT Waitrose view | close biography
Mike joined the Waitrose Management Board as interim IT lead in 2016 and is responsible for all IT systems, services and infrastructure. The role includes development and operational support of all store, e-commerce, supply chain and commercial systems.
Prior to joining the Partnership Mike was Chief Information Officer at Argos. As a member of the Argos Executive Board, Mike was responsible for the delivery of all projects throughout a technology led transformation of that business. Prior to that Mike was IT Director at Mitchells & Butlers and has performed senior technology roles at B&Q and Safeway.
Mike graduated from Brunel University with an honours degree in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1989.
Ben StimsonRetail Director view | close biography
Ben is Retail Director for Waitrose, with overall responsibility for leading the company's portfolio of more than 300 branches and the business's e-commerce offer.
This includes developing Waitrose's shops to meet changing customer needs - including spearheading a rapidly growing hospitality and convenience offer.
Since he joined the John Lewis Partnership in 2010, Ben has held a variety of senior roles, within both Waitrose and John Lewis.
Before taking up his current role, Ben was Partnership Registrar, John Lewis, a board level position responsible for ensuring that the values of the Partnership are upheld throughout the organisation.
He has also held the positions of both Director of Retail Operations and Director of Retail Services for Waitrose.
Before joining the Partnership, Ben worked for Sky in a senior marketing and communications role. He is chairman of the Nationwide Building Society's Charitable Foundation, and a board member of the Youth Sport Trust.
Rupert ThomasMarketing Director view | close biography
Responsible for retaining and growing our customer base through effective marketing activity, loyalty plans, product & brand development, store development, underpinned by the Waitrose way.
Rupert joined Waitrose in 2003, having spent over 10 years working at Sainsburys in commercial and marketing roles.
At Waitrose, Rupert headed up the Grocery and Fruit buying teams, before being promoted to Head of Brand Development in 2007. He was responsible for leading the development of Cooks' Ingredients, Wholesome, essential Waitrose, Seriously from and Menu from ranges. In 2009, he was promoted to Director, Marketing and Brand Development overseeing the Delia and Heston campaign.
In June 2010 Rupert was promoted to the Waitrose Management Board as Marketing Director, responsible for the creation and delivery of the marketing, customer communication, loyalty, CSR and product strategy.
In 2012 Rupert took on responsibility for the Waitrose store design and development activity.
Mark WilliamsonCommercial Director view | close biography
Responsible for the sourcing, buying, ranging and pricing of branded and own label products to ensure Waitrose has a competitive offering for our customers.
Mark joined the Partnership in June 2004 as Head of Buying, Grocery. In April 2005 his portfolio was widened to include Wines, Beers, Spirits and Tobacco. He was appointed Supply Chain Director in April 2007 and took up his current role in June 2010.
Prior to joining the Partnership Mark started his career in Marketing and Buying with Tesco before moving to J Sainsbury where he covered a number of senior buying roles as well as being promoted to Procurement Director and Trading Director.
Loraine WoodhouseFinance Director view | close biography
Responsible for the overall financial management of our business including planning, budgeting and forecasting, risk, financial control, and investment appraisal. In addition, Loraine is responsible for Strategy and Change Management.
Loraine joined the Partnership in August 2013 and was appointed Acting Group Finance Director in December 2014. She took up her current role in October 2015.
Loraine previously held a number of senior finance roles, most recently as Finance Director of fashion retailer Hobbs.
Wim van AalstSupply Chain Director view | close biography
Waitrose’s Supply Chain Director, Wim van Aalst, joined the business in August 2016 and is responsible for supply planning and distribution of operations. He was previously the Chief Supply Chain Officer for Landmark Group, a retailing group headquartered in Dubai with 2000 stores in 20 countries.
Wim has also had experience working in supply chain roles for Adidas and TNT. He has an extensive knowledge of end–to-end supply chain management and has spent 20 years in the industry working in a variety of senior roles across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the USA.