Nov 4, 2020
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John Lewis takes axe to 1,500 HQ jobs

Nov 4, 2020

John Lewis Partnership has unveiled the latest part of its plan to return to sustainable profits by 2025 and it means it could cut thousands of jobs at its head office.

The company said it “proposes to reduce the size of our head office operations by up to 1,500 roles between now and April 2021. We will do this by simplifying how we work and de-layering our structures. The changes will save another £50 million on top of £50 million of recent efficiencies, a significant contribution to our £300 million [savings] target”.

It added that it would seek to find new roles in the Partnership for staff whose roles become redundant, while for those who are unable to find new roles, “we will provide them with a market-leading redundancy support and funds for retraining”. 

This includes “up to £3,000 towards a recognised qualification or course for up to two years for any Partner with two years’ service or more”.

At the same time, the company said Patrick Lewis, its Executive Director, Finance has “decided to leave at the end of this year following a long and distinguished 26-year career with the Partnership”.

He’ll be succeeded by Bérangère Michel, currently Executive Director, Customer Service, and former Finance Director for John Lewis. 

The size of the Executive Team will also reduce as the business will not recruit a new Executive Director for Customer Service. Instead those responsibilities will transfer to James Bailey, Executive Director for Waitrose and Pippa Wicks, Executive Director for John Lewis.

Company Chair Sharon White said: “Our Partnership Plan sets a course to create a thriving and sustainable business for the future. To achieve this we must be agile and able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of our customers. Losing Partners is incredibly hard as an employee-owned business. 

“It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with Patrick. He is the best of the Partnership and personifies our purpose and our values. His determined drive to build the financial strength of the business has granted us opportunity to emerge stronger from the Covid crisis. Patrick told me a while ago of his wish to leave the Partnership to seek new opportunities. I’m very grateful to him for agreeing to stay until we’d been able to identify a successor.

“I am delighted that Bérangère has agreed to succeed Patrick as Executive Director for Finance. Bérangère brings 20 years of leadership experience in finance, including three years as Finance Director for John Lewis. She is passionate about the Partnership, and what it means to be a Partner, and will do a brilliant job.”

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