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John Lewis Partnership appoints independent directors

Published: 9 September 2019 - Fiona Garcia

The department store chain’s parent firm has created brand new roles, which will report to the chairman, and are designed to provide insight and challenge to the Partnership.

Both roles are full-time and are in addition to the three non-executive directors that sit on the Partnership board.

Dame Clare Tickell will take up her role from October 14. She is currently non-executive director at the National Audit Office, chair of the board at the Early Intervention Foundation and a Fellow of the RSA. Dame Clare was chief executive of Hanover Housing Association from January 2014 to November 2018 and, prior to that, held a number of senior roles, including chief executive of Action for Children, chief executive of the Stonham Housing Association and a range of other organisations providing housing for people. She was also a non-executive director on the board of the Information Commissioner's Office and produced an independent report on the Early Years Foundation Stage to Her Majesty’s Government.  

Dame Clare said: “I am delighted to be joining the Partnership at a time of such critical change. I’ve been a long time admirer of its principles and look forward to taking up this important role.”

Meanwhile, Michael Herlihy will begin his new role from February 3, 2020. He was appointed as Partnership secretary and a member of the Partnership’s executive team in April 2018. Mr Herlihy joined the Partnership from Smiths Group plc, where he was general counsel for almost 10 years; prior to which he spent 26 years at Imperial Chemical Industries plc, including 10 as general counsel. He has also held a variety of non-executive roles including that of Senior Independent Director at Imperial Brands plc. He is a solicitor and graduate of Oxford University. 

Mr Herlihy said: “The roots of these new roles go all the way back to the original principles and organisation that Spedan Lewis designed for the Partnership and to be asked to take on this responsibility at such a challenging time is a huge honour.”

John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “I’m delighted with these appointments and the experience both Clare and Michael will bring to these roles. The independent directors are new roles formed as part of our review of the Partnership’s governance structure.  They are designed to provide a source of insight and challenge on the extent to which they are upholding the Principles of the Constitution. Free from operational responsibilities, the independent directors work on behalf of the chairman and trustees of the Constitution, and will play a critical role in ensuring the integrity of the Partnership.”


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