Dame Sharon White will not seek a second five-year term as boss of John Lewis Partnership and will step down next year, according to reports.
The boss of John Lewis and Waitrose has reportedly initiated talks with the firm’s board to appoint her new successor.
Sources told the outlet that White made her decision to exit at a time when she considers the worst of the cost of living crisis to be coming to an end.
White was appointed despite no experience in the retail sector and was almost immediately faced with leading the partnership through Covid-19.
In that time she has come under fire for store closures, a push into property, and a failure to deliver staff’s annual bonus.
Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Having led the partnership through the pandemic and the worst of the cost of living crisis, it is important that there is now a smooth and orderly succession process and handover.
“The Partnership is making progress in its modernisation and transformation with improving results. There is a long road ahead and I am committed to handing on the strongest possible Partnership to my successor.”
Sharon White’s five-year term as Chairman comes to an end in February 2025.