Dame Sharon White: John Lewis boss to step down next year

Dame Sharon White became chairwoman of John Lewis in 2020 and was previously the Chief Executive of Ofcom

Dame Sharon White, the boss of John Lewis, is set to step down from her role next year, becoming the partnership's shortesrt-serving chair in its history.

Dame Sharon's five-year contract will end next year, with the chair telling the John Lewis board that she will not be seeking a second term in the role. It comes after John Lewis made a reported loss of £234 million last year, prompting a cut to the annual staff bonus and warning of job losses.

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At the time, Dam Sharon said that the huge loss came after "inflation hit us like a hurricane".

In June 2023, John Lewis’s property and development director Chris Harris resigned, but said that he will stay until November. Chris Harris, was previously head of property at Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia, is not the only executive to leave in recent months. The Times reported that “John Lewis boss Pippa Wicks left abruptly in February after less than three years in the post and chief operating officer Andrew Murphy, a partnership lifer, is stepping down this summer.”

Before becoming chairwoman of John Lewis, Dame Sharon White was the Chief Executive of Ofcom. Before joining Ofcom, she worked as a senior civil servant at the Treasury.

The announcement of Dame Sharon White joining John Lewis was made by Sir Charlie Mayfield in 2019 and he said: “Sharon White has had a stellar career in a number of senior strategic and executive roles and during a thorough, wide-ranging and extremely competitive search she stood out as an exceptional candidate.”

What is Dame Sharon White's salary at John Lewis?

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The Guardian reported in June 2019 that Dame Sharon White “will be paid £990,000 in basic salary a year to lead the retailer".

Dame Sharon's predecessor Mayfield, who spent 12 years as chairman of the group, was paid £1.1m by the end of his tenure.

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