John Lewis Partnership appoints Nish Kankiwala to board

Thursday 1 April 2021

The John Lewis Partnership today announces that Nish Kankiwala will join its Board this month as a Non-Executive Director.

Nish brings 40 years’ experience in retail and consumer brands such as PepsiCo, Unilever and Burger King. He is currently the Chief Executive of Hovis, a business with over 130 years of heritage.

Nish started his career at Unilever in a number of commercial and operational roles, before moving to Pepsico where he became President of the soft drinks business in Europe and Africa. He then moved to Burger King International as President. 

He continued his career within private equity led businesses and joined Hovis in 2014, initially as Chairman and in the past five years as Chief Executive, where he led the transformation of the brand. 

Nish is a Fellow at the Institute of Chemical Engineers and Fellow at University College London, where he graduated in Chemical Engineering. He will join the Partnership Board on 12 April.

Nish replaces Laura Wade-Gery who is stepping down from the Partnership Board when her term ends on 30 April 2021.

Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Nish is a fantastic appointment to the Partnership Board. He brings a wealth of experience in retail and fast moving consumer markets. He’s led well known global brands and ones with rich heritage and trust like the Partnership. 

“I’m incredibly grateful to Laura who has done a brilliant job since joining the Board in 2017. Laura has made a significant contribution to the Partnership and she leaves with our best wishes for the future.”  

Nish Kankiwala said: “The Partnership is a business I’ve long admired for its unique ethos and its special brands. The business now has a significant opportunity to play an even bigger role in its customers’ lives. I’m looking forward to working closely with the Board and supporting the Partnership.”

Laura Wade-Gery said: “It's been a privilege to be a part of the Partnership, to experience first hand the power of the unique partnership model and to use my external perspective and business experience to help shape its strategy and development. I am looking forward to staying connected through my family's regular shopping habits.”


About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. 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. Profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis operates 42 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as Waitrose has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. 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 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