John Lewis Partnership announces next Deputy Chairman

The John Lewis Partnership has announced that Rita Clifton CBE will become its next Deputy Chairman.

Rita, who will join the Partnership Board in February, has significant experience as a non-executive director in a range of consumer facing sectors, including retail. 

She currently holds non-executive roles with Nationwide Building Society and Ascential plc. She stepped down from the Board of ASOS earlier this year, having served six years, and has previously held non-executive roles with Dixons Retail, Emap, Bupa and the research firm Populus Group.

Rita has worked with many of the world’s leading companies on their brand strategies during her executive career as Vice Chairman and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi; as London CEO and Chairman at the global brand consultancy Interbrand; and as co-founder of BrandCap. 

Rita’s not-for-profit Board appointments have included WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature), the UK Sustainable Development Commission and as Trustee of the environmental think tank Green Alliance. She was recently appointed Chair of Trustees at the leading 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.”  

Rita 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.” 

Rita replaces Keith Williams who stepped down from the Partnership Board in April 2020. Andy Martin continues as Non-Executive Director of the Partnership and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.