Pippa Wicks exits John Lewis, Naomi Simcock steps up for now
One of John Lewis Partnership’s top executives has exited the business with Pippa Wicks, the high-profile head of the eponymous department store chain, having left after less than three years in the post. No reason for her departure was given.
Her replacement on an interim basis is Naomi Simcock, the firm’s retail director. She’s a 12-year veteran of the company and has worked across a variety of roles in both its John Lewis and Waitrose brands. She was previously with M&S.
As an executive director, Wicks had a seat on the firm’s board and had overseen key areas including trading, merchandising, marketing, product development and services.
Most notably, under her watch, the venerable Never Knowingly Undersold price-matching promise was ditched as part of the overall revamp of the John Lewis brand that she oversaw, and the successful budget Anyday own-brand was introduced.
She was also in charge recently when the company cut its ties with the ad agency that had been responsible for the firm’s headline-grabbing Christmas ads for over a decade.
Wicks had joined the company from the Co-op in August 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
Partnership chair Sharon White said of her: “I am very grateful for Pippa’s contribution to John Lewis. She has been instrumental in reinvigorating the brand, launching our successful Anyday entry range, refreshing the John Lewis own brand range and repositioning John Lewis ‘for all life’s moments’. Under Pippa’s stewardship John Lewis has reported record sales and was recently recognised as the UK’s best retail brand for customer service.”
Wickes herself added: “I am proud of the considerable transformational progress the highly talented John Lewis team has made over the past few years, especially given the difficulties caused by the pandemic. It has been a real privilege and honour to work for the partnership and help transform John Lewis which is one of the most respected brands in the country.”
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