Mumbai-born executive takes charge at John Lewis

Mumbai-born executive takes charge at John Lewis

Mumbai-born Nish Kankiwala recently took over as the first British Indian Chief Executive of John Lewis Partnership (JLP), one of the UK’s most well-known department stores headquartered in London, with a brief to supercharge the high street brand.

“It’s a great privilege to be appointed as Chief Executive following two rewarding years on the Partnership’s Board as a non-executive director. I am looking forward to playing an even fuller part in the transformation of the Partnership, to be a modern business loved by customers and treasured by our Partners,” said Kankiwala of his new role.

A non-executive director to the Partnership Board since April 2021, JLP Chair Sharon White unveiled his elevation within the company recently.

White said of the announcement: “I’m delighted that Nish is to be Chief Executive. Since joining the Board in 2021, Nish has developed a deep understanding and appreciation of the Partnership model and has provided counsel on our transformation. He will be able to supercharge this in his new role while protecting the Partnership’s ethos.

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“Nish and I will work closely to ensure the Partnership thrives for another century. The new structure allows me to focus on the preservation of the Partnership model and our distinctive character, on the strategy for the Partnership and our big commercial choices. Nish will draw on his significant transformation experience to drive performance and profitability day to day.”

The appointment is widely seen as the company’s concerted effort to boost the company’s fortunes and get it ready for a new phase of growth.

Prior to joining the JLP, Kankiwala worked with global brands throughout his career and, owing to this, has garnered a wealth of experience in consumer goods and retail. Starting off as a Graduate Trainee with Unilever, the professional not only held several commercial and operational roles but has also held senior roles at PepsiCo and Burger King International, jobs where his last held positions were President of business in Europe and Africa and President respectively.

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He arrived at Hovis in 2014, initially as Chairman and then as CEO, where he has led the turnaround of a much loved and cherished business.

Founded by John Spedan Lewis, the John Lewis Partnership is the UK’s biggest employee-owned business with nearly 80,000 Partners. It runs two iconic brands in Waitrose and John Lewis. 

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