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John Lewis appoints executive director for strategy

Lauretta Roberts
04 February 2020

John Lewis has started to build its new executive team with the announcement of the appointment of Nina Bhatia as Executive Director, Strategy & Commercial Development.

Bhatia was previously managing director of Hive, one of Europe’s largest connected home businesses and part of Centrica, and will join the retailer on 17 February. She will report to new John Lewis chairman Sharon White.

Prior to Hive, Bhatia led one of British Gas’s home services businesses and spent 10 years with business consultants McKinsey.

John Lewis

Nina Bhatia

"I am delighted to be joining the Partnership. The business's purpose and its two incredibly strong brands resonate strongly with me. Working with Partners across the business, I look forward to developing a strategy for the Partnership that is relevant to our customers, is built on trust and delivers commercial value," Bhatia said.

White, who takes over from Sir Charlie Mayfield who is leaving the business having been chairman since 2007, has joined John Lewis from Ofcom. She said of Bhatia's appointment: “Nina brings tremendous commercial and strategic experience and will play a crucial role as part of the newly-formed Future Partnership Executive team.”

John Lewis recently announced the departure of executive director of brand Paula Nickolds after a disappointing Christmas trading period. The department store recorded a -2% drop like-for-like sales slump in the seven weeks to 5 January. The company has since revealed that it will no longer be announcing its results on a week-by-week basis and would be announcing annually instead.

Nickolds, who had been with John Lewis since 1994, had been managing director of the department store but had just been moved to the role of executive director of brand across both John Lewis and Waitrose. This move followed the departure of Waitrose managing director, Rob Collins, who had left the business in a restructure designed to bring the two brands closer together.

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