Rob Collins, Managing Director of Waitrose & Partners, to leave the John Lewis Partnership

Tuesday 1 October 2019

The John Lewis Partnership announces today that, after a 26-year career, Rob Collins has set out his intention to step down as Managing Director of Waitrose & Partners next year.

The Partnership has also announced today the Future Partnership plan which includes the introduction of a new management structure for the Partnership. From next year there will be one Executive Team with direct responsibility for the performance and strategy of the whole Partnership, and there will no longer be divisional boards or separate Managing Directors for John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners.

Some of the new Executive Director appointments have already been confirmed, with further appointments expected to be announced over the coming months. However, Rob has decided to step down as Managing Director of Waitrose & Partners and is expected to leave the Partnership in January 2020. 

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Partner and Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Rob joined the Partnership in 1993 as a graduate trainee and has made a terrific contribution in a number of roles at both Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners. In recent years, Rob has been an outstanding leader for the Partnership in all the senior positions he has held. As Managing Director of Waitrose & Partners for the last four years he has made an enormous impact in modernising, strengthening and differentiating the business.

Rob has been one of the central architects of our new plans and it’s a testament to his character that his commitment to the right course for the Partnership has not wavered despite his own role being removed in the new structure. When he leaves in January he will do so with the sincere thanks of the whole Partnership and with our best wishes for the future.”

Rob Collins, Managing Director of Waitrose & Partners, said: “I have been closely involved in the planning of the Future Partnership programme and I’m very confident that the new structure is the right one for the future. I am certain it will enable the business to continue its long history of successfully adapting to changing times. There isn’t a role in the new structure that I believe is right for me personally, and so I have decided to leave at the end of January. 

It’s been an honour to lead and develop the Waitrose business for the last four years and I couldn’t be more proud of what every Partner has achieved. I shall be a lifelong supporter of this unique and special business. I wish everyone happiness and success for the future.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

The new Executive team from 3 February 2020 will be as follows:

Chairman Sharon White
Executive Director, Brand Paula Nickolds
Executive Director, Finance Patrick Lewis
Executive Director, People Tracey Killen
Executive Director, Operations Andrew Murphy
Executive Director, Customer Service Bérangère Michel
Executive Director, Trading To be appointed
Executive Director, Strategy To be appointed

ABOUT WAITROSE & PARTNERS
Waitrose & Partners has 344 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose & Partners is an employee-owned business - all employees are Partners and have a say in how the business is run.

Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has nine shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.   

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