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John Lewis Partnership appoints Rita Clifton CBE as deputy chair   

The John Lewis Partnership has announced that Rita Clifton CBE has been appointed as the group’s next deputy chairman.

Clifton will join the Partnership board next February, and brings with her “significant” experience as a non-executive director in a range of consumer facing sectors.

She replaces Keith Williams in the role, who stepped down from the Partnership board in April 2020 after six years. Andy Martin continues as non-executive director of the Partnership and chair of the Audit and Risk committee.

Clifton currently holds non-executive roles with Nationwide Building Society and Ascential, and recently stepped down from the board of ASOS after serving six years at the group. She has also held non-executive roles with Dixons Retail, Emap, Bupa and Populus Group.

In addition, Clifton worked with a range of leading companies on their brand strategies during her time as vice chairman and strategy director at Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as her time as London CEO and chairman at  global brand consultancy Interbrand.

Her not-for-profit board appointments have included roles at the WWF and UK Sustainable Development Commission, and she was recently appointed chair of trustees at sustainability organisation Forum for the Future.

Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I’m delighted that Rita is joining the Partnership as deputy chairman. She brings a wealth of leadership experience across an impressive career. Rita is a perfect fit for the Partnership and we’ll benefit greatly from her deep expertise in brand strategy and retail. I’m very grateful to Andy Martin who has done a fantastic job as our interim deputy chairman.”

Clifton said: “Waitrose and John Lewis are two of the country’s most trusted brands, which are loved by customers. I’ve long admired the Partnership’s products, purpose and unique approach to doing business. I’m looking forward to joining the board as the Partnership enters the next exciting phase in its development.”

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