The John Lewis Partnership today announces the appointment of a new President for its unique governing authority - the Partnership Council.
Following a robust recruitment process, featuring both internal and external candidates, the new President is a current Partner, starting on 13 October, reporting to the Partnership Council Steering Committee.
Chris Earnshaw has been a Partner for 21 years and was Head of Shop Trading North for Waitrose & Partners and President of Waitrose & Partners Council. Chris started his career as an A- level management trainee in 1998 and has worked in a number of shops, developing his career within the Partnership. Chris has been Head of Branch for John Lewis & Partners in Liverpool and Cardiff.
Running for a three-year term, Chris replaces former Partnership Council President Trevor Phillips and will work alongside the recently appointed Independent Directors Dame Clare Tickell and Michael Herlihy. Chris will be responsible for promoting the independence, health and vitality of the Partnership’s unique democractic structure, where power is shared among 81,500 Partners.
The first democratic council was set-up by the Partnership 100 years ago in 1919 and represents Partners opinion, to ensure the business is run for and on behalf of all Partners. The Council also holds the Chairman to account, influences policy and makes key governance decisions such as choosing the Trustees of the Constitution, selecting Partnership Board elected directors and changing the Constitution with the Chairman’s agreement.
Partners Ben Sheppard, Louise Hymers and Martin Wright are members of the Partnership Council Steering Committee which appoints the President role. Ben said: “We’re delighted to welcome Chris as our new President. Our founder, Spedan Lewis, believed there was a better way of doing business by including Partners in decision making on how the business should be run and this role will help influence and amplify these voices in the Partnership.”
Chris Earnshaw, Partner & President of Partnership Council said: “I am absolutely delighted to be asked by the Partnership Council Steering Committee to carry out this role. It is a real privilege to lead the formal side of our democracy across the whole of the Partnership. It is what makes our business so special and I believe is a better way of doing business.
At a time when retail is going through such dynamic changes, our democratic structure will be our fundamental point difference, as we look to further develop the Partnership. My role is to ensure the voice of the Partner is supporting, shaping and influencing our unique business now and in the future."