Swann and Geddes in contention for John Lewis post

 
Sebastian McCarthy
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Kate Swann is also the former chief executive of high street retailer WH Smith

Two City heavyweights are reportedly being weighed up for the top job at John Lewis Partnership, following the news of Sir Charlie Mayfield’s planned departure as chairman next year.


Direct Line’s outgoing chief executive Paul Geddes and departing SSP boss Kate Swann are both in the running to succeed Mayfield, along with the department store chain’s finance director Patrick Lewis, the great grandson of the firm's founder.

The news, reported in The Sunday Times this morning, comes ahead of John Lewis Partnership’s full-year results on Thursday, where the employee-owned company’s 83,000 staff will find out the size of their annual bonuses.

Read more: John Lewis considers cutting staff bonus amid profit warning

In January, Mayfield said that the firm would "need to consider carefully…whether payment of a bonus is prudent", with the firm mulling a suspension in its staff bonus for the first time in 66 years.


Last summer Direct Line said that Geddes would be leaving the company after 10 years in the job, while Swann revealed her plans to leave travel food retailer SSP in November.

Read more: Shareholders yearn for retail chiefs like Swann

John Lewis Partnership declined to comment.