John Lewis boss Pippa Wicks leaves after less than three years in job

‘Never knowingly undersold’ pledge was ditched under Wicks’ leadership of department store chain business

John Lewis Partnership has parted company with Pippa Wicks, the head of its department store chain who oversaw the ditching of its famous “never knowingly undersold” marketing pledge, after less than three years.

She joined the employee-owned group from the Co-op in August 2020 as part of a management restructure by the chair, Dame Sharon White, to create separate bosses for the John Lewis and Waitrose supermarket businesses.

Wicks, who sat on the board of the group and held the title executive director, John Lewis, has been responsible for trading, merchandising, marketing and developing products and services for the department store company.

She was responsible for initiatives including relaunching the John Lewis brand – including replacing its almost century-old price-matching pledge as well as parting ways with the agency responsible for its famous Christmas campaigns for the last 14 years. She also launched its low-cost Anyday range in response to the cost of living crisis.

“I am very grateful for Pippa’s contribution to John Lewis,” said White, a former boss of the telecoms watchdog Ofcom. “She has been instrumental in reinvigorating the brand, launching our successful Anyday entry range, refreshing the John Lewis own brand range and repositioning John Lewis ‘for all life’s moments’.”

Wicks is succeeded by Naomi Simcock, the John Lewis retail director, who takes over immediately on an interim basis.

“I am proud of the considerable transformational progress the highly talented John Lewis team has made over the past few years, especially given the difficulties caused by the pandemic,” Wicks said.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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