Sir Charlie Mayfield to step down as John Lewis chairman
THE John Lewis Partnership has signalled the end of an era with Sir Charlie Mayfield announcing he will step down as chairman in 2020, after almost two decades with the retailer.
The partnership, which includes Waitrose and John Lewis, has come under intense pressure from the torrid retail climate, and the announcement comes two months after it revealed its profits had been wiped out by having to price-match rivals’ discounting.
Last year Sir Charlie received a £1.4m pay package after waiving his bonus for the last two years while requesting for his basic pay to remain static. John Lewis shop employees saw their bonus cut to the lowest level in 64 years, equivalent to 5pc of annual pay following a “challenging” year.
“Although my departure is still a considerable way off, the appointment of my successor is a key responsibility,” said Sir Charlie. “It is for this reason I have decided to lay out the timetable now to enable an open and thorough process to select the next chairman of the partnership.”
The partnership said that its nominations committee would consider both internal and external candidates and announce the new chairman in the second half of 2019.
JLP rebranded its chains “John Lewis & Partners” and “Waitrose & Partners” in September in an attempt to emphasise the fact it is an employee-owned business, an unusual fact that has won it huge political support.
Sir Charlie became the partnership’s fifth chairman in March 2007 after joining the retailer in 2000 as head of business development.