John Lewis names executive director of strategy in organisational overhaul
After more than eight decades of managing its John Lewis and Waitrose business separately, John Lewis Partnership is merging the executive teams behind the retail chains in a bid to save money.
The new structure has seen the appointment of a new executive team, with Nina Bhatia being the latest addition. She is joining as the group’s new executive director of strategy and commercial development on 17 February.
Described as a ‘leader in disruptive, digitally-led businesses’, Bhatia brings a wealth of industry knowledge, having held the role of managing director of Hive, one of Europe’s largest connected home businesses, between 2015 and 2018.
Prior to that, she led one of British Gas’s home services businesses, delivering electrical and plumbing/drainage repairs to millions of homes.
But more importantly, she brings deep strategy experience, having served as partner at McKinsey & Co. for over 10 years working with clients in the consumer, energy, healthcare and public sectors.
“Nina brings tremendous commercial and strategic experience and will play a crucial role as part of the newly-formed Future Partnership executive team,” said Sharon White, who took up her new role as chairman of the business on Tuesday.
With falling sales and profits, the retail group will need all the help it can get. Over the all important Christmas trading period, gross sales at the John Lewis Partnership fell 1.8% versus the previous year, and the company warned that full-year profits at its department store brand will be “substantially down” on last year.
This month, the board will decide whether the company’s 81,000 employees will receive their annual bonus, based on the profitability of the business and planned investments.
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