Waitrose Boss to Step Down as John Lewis Cuts One Third of Top Roles


(Bloomberg) -- John Lewis Partnership Plc plans to cut one-third of the top jobs at its headquarters as it integrates grocer Waitrose with its department-store operations in response to tough U.K. retail competition.

The reduction of 75 senior managers will save about 100 million pounds ($123 million) over time, the company said Tuesday. Waitrose managing director Rob Collins plans to step down next year as the company moves to a single management team.

In March, the employee-owned retailer cut its workers’ annual bonus -- often seen as a gauge of the health of the U.K. sector -- to the lowest level in more than half a century. Supermarket operators have warned that a no-deal Brexit could exacerbate their problems by hitting consumer confidence and causing shortages of fresh foods.

The changes at John Lewis will speed up the rollout of new products and services while bringing its department-store and grocery brands into closer alignment, the company said.

The moves come as John Lewis prepares for the arrival of a new chairman, U.K. telecoms watchdog Sharon White, succeeding Charlie Mayfield.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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