John Lewis has appointed Sharon White as new Chairman of the Partnership. Former civil servant White who steps down from her role as CEO at Ofcom will join the retail company becoming the first black woman chair of John Lewis. She replaces Sir Charlie Mayfield who held the role since 2007 and will take up the role when Sir Mayfield steps down in early 2020.
Since March 2015 Sharon has been the Chief Executive of Ofcom, the UK’s communications services regulator. Before joining Ofcom, Sharon was Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, responsible for overseeing the public finances and before that she held Board level positions at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development. She has also worked as an adviser at the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit and in Washington DC as a senior economist at the World Bank.
Sharon is also a non-executive Board member of Barratt Developments Plc, the UK FTSE 100 house builder and a Trustee of Sadler’s Wells Trust Ltd. She is a trained economist and studied at Cambridge University and University College London.
Sharon White, Chairman designate, said: “It is a great honour to be asked to succeed Charlie as the sixth Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.
“I am a passionate believer in the Partnership: Partners working together for each other’s wellbeing with the confidence to invest for the long-term and a focus on delivering for our customers in a rapidly changing retail environment. John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners are not merely British retail icons, but also a model of a better way to do business.
“In my current role, my vision has been to ensure that consumers in fast-moving markets get high quality, reliable services at fair prices, from thriving businesses they can trust. Social purpose and commercial success flourish best together, which is why I am looking forward so much to working with Partners as we move ahead together.”
Sharon’s basic pay will be £990,000.