John Lewis Partnership has looked inside its organisation for its next John Lewis department stores chain leader and has named Paula Nickolds as new managing director. She will head the department stores chain and fast-growing e-commerce operation, effective next January.
Previous MD Andy Street was last month selected by Britain’s Conservative Party to run for as its candidate for mayor of the West Midlands in central England.
Like Street, Nickolds is a John Lewis veteran having been with the company for 22 years. She joined the retailer in 1994 as a graduate trainee at the London flagship on Oxford Street and held a number of senior roles before joining the management board as Buying & Brand Director in 2013.
Most recently Commercial Director, she has been responsible for innovation in John Lewis’s product assortment and the look and feel of its shops.
Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said Nickolds’ “progressive and dynamic” leadership skills are what are needed “at a time of transformation in the retail sector.”
But with the key Christmas trading period coming between now and Nickolds taking up her new role, the company also said that Dino Rocos will act as the lead director responsible for John Lewis operations in the interim period.