John Lewis Partnership appoints People Executive Director

Tuesday 28 July 2020

The John Lewis Partnership has today appointed Nikki Humphrey as Executive Director for People. Nikki joins from Virgin Atlantic where she is Chief People Officer and replaces Tracey Killen who has retired after a 38 year career in the Partnership.

Starting on 1 October, Nikki will be responsible for developing and delivering a people strategy for the Partnership’s 80,000 Partners. This new appointment forms part of a seven-strong executive team and follows James Bailey joining as Executive Director of Waitrose in April and Pippa Wicks becoming Executive Director of John Lewis. 

Sharon White, Partner & Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “This appointment comes at a time where we are working hard to develop our people strategy. Nikki’s impressive experience will help ensure the Partnership continues to be a great place to work for current and future Partners, that both rewards and develops Partners, provides exceptional health and wellbeing support and improves our diversity and inclusion strategy, truly reflecting the communities we serve.”

Nikki Humphrey said: “I’m very excited to be joining the Partnership at this time. It’s a huge privilege to lead the People team and the People strategy for the 80,000 Partners. I’m really looking forward to working together with Partners, to shape the future and continue to provide the wonderful experience that is so valued by customers.”


Nikki Humphrey

Nikki has over 20 years HR leadership experience across many sectors and joined Virgin Atlantic in March 2017 from Lloyds Banking Group as Chief People Officer, responsible for the People strategy and leading the People team including corporate communications, occupational health & staff benefits. She has held a number of HR leadership roles during 15 years at Lloyds including HR Director for Scottish Widows and Group Talent & Development Director. She is passionate about inclusion and diversity, and has a relentless focus on realising both organisation and individual potential. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

Tracey Killen

Tracey has spent her working life with the Partnership, joining in 1982 as an A-Level trainee at John Lewis Bristol. After several retail roles, she became Staff Manager in 1992 and in 1995 she moved to John Lewis High Wycombe as Merchandise Manager and later that year was appointed General Manager Bristol and then General Manager Cribbs Causeway when the Bristol shop relocated there in 1998. Tracey was promoted to Managing Director, John Lewis Cribbs Causeway in 2000 and became Personnel Director for John Lewis in July 2002. She joined the Partnership Board as Director of Personnel in April 2007 and then became Executive Director, People for the John Lewis Partnership in February 2020. Tracey has also been Chair of the John Lewis Partnership Golden Jubilee Trust and is Non-Executive Director of Morgan Sindall Group plc and Chair of their Remuneration Committee and a member of their Nominations and Audit Committees.

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 80,000 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 50 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as Waitrose & Partners has 337 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. 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,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers. 


John Lewis Partnership

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