John Lewis Partnership appoints Rita Clifton CBE as Deputy Chairman

Thursday 17 December 2020

The John Lewis Partnership today announces that Rita Clifton CBE will become its next Deputy Chairman.

Rita, who will join the Partnership Board in February, has significant experience as a non-executive director in a range of consumer facing sectors, including retail. 

She currently holds non-executive roles with Nationwide Building Society and Ascential plc. She stepped down from the Board of ASOS earlier this year, having served six years, and has previously held non-executive roles with Dixons Retail, Emap, Bupa and the research firm Populus Group.

Rita has worked with many of the world’s leading companies on their brand strategies during her executive career as Vice Chairman and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi; as London CEO and Chairman at the global brand consultancy Interbrand; and as co-founder of BrandCap. 

Rita’s not-for-profit Board appointments have included WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature), the UK Sustainable Development Commission and as Trustee of the environmental think tank Green Alliance. She was recently appointed Chair of Trustees at the leading sustainability organisation Forum for the Future.

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

Rita Clifton said: “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.” 

Rita replaces Keith Williams who stepped down from the Partnership Board in April 2020. Andy Martin continues as Non-Executive Director of the Partnership and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.  


About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 78,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For all intents and purposes, the Partnership is a social enterprise; the profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis & Partners operates 42 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as Waitrose & Partners has 332 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has 13 shops which operate under licence in the UAE. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers. 

About the John Lewis Partnership Board

The Partnership Board is made up of eight members and ensures the business is run on a financially prudent basis, major policy issues are addressed and high standards of governance are maintained.

Our Board is different to most, with a mix of appointed and democratically elected Partners. As set out in our Constitution, Partners from anywhere across the business are elected to the Board. Our three Elected Directors ensure Partner opinion is reflected in the direction and management of the business. They also bring special insight and knowledge of the business and participate in big decisions such as the decision on Partnership Bonus, approving Partnership strategy, major investment plans and restructuring programmes.

The Board is assisted by three Committees: the Audit and Risk Committee; the Nominations Committee; and the Remuneration Committee.


John Lewis Partnership

Sarah Henderson
Partner & Senior External Communications Manager
Tel: 07764 676036