Co-op boss Pippa Wicks poached by John Lewis

Pippa Wicks

The John Lewis Partnership said on Wednesday it appointed Co-op Group deputy chief executive Pippa Wicks as the boss of its department stores division.

Wicks, who has worked at the Manchester-based Co-op Group since 2013, becomes executive director for employee-owned John Lewis and will start her new role in August. 

In her new job, Wicks will be responsible for trading, merchandising, marketing and “developing propositions and services” for John Lewis shops and

The John Lewis Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 80,000 employees who are all partners in the business.

Sharon White, partner & chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pippa to the Partnership.

“She brings a wealth of experience of leading and developing businesses that deliver brilliant products and services to customers, both online and in stores.

“Pippa has an exceptional track record, including at the Co-op Group which, as a membership organisation, shares similar values to the Partnership in terms of the commitment to the communities we serve.

“John Lewis and Waitrose are two of the most loved brands in the UK, and the partnership the largest social enterprise.

“As we emerge from the pandemic there is tremendous opportunity for John Lewis to play an even bigger role in people’s lives.

“I am confident that under Pippa’s leadership the brand will continue to thrive.”

Wicks said: “I feel extremely privileged to be joining the John Lewis Partnership at such an important time in its history.

“As Executive Director responsible for the John Lewis business I look forward to working closely with Partners to steer through these extraordinary times in society and in retail.

“As the biggest employee-owned business in the UK and one of the biggest in the world there is an opportunity to provide both exceptional service for customers as well as really meaningful work for Partners.”

This new appointment forms part of a seven-strong executive team and follows James Bailey joining John Lewis as executive director of Waitrose in April. 

Simon Coble will also continue in his role as Trading Director of John Lewis, reporting to Wicks.