John Lewis Partnership has appointed former Hobbs chief executive Nicky Dulieu as a non-executive director.

Nicky Dulieu

Nicky Dulieu

The partnership, which owns Waitrose as well as John Lewis department stores, said Dulieu, who will chair the audit and risk committee, would bring “a strong retail background” to the role, having spent 23 years at Marks & Spencer before running Hobbs between 2008 and 2014.

Dulieu, who is also a non-executive director of WHSmith, succeeds Andy Martin who is standing down after five years with JLP.

John Lewis Partnership chair Dame Sharon White said: I’m pleased to be welcoming Nicky to the partnership board. Her extensive experience and successful track record will be of great value to the partnership as we continue to progress our five-year growth plan. On behalf of the business, I would also like to thank Andy for the important contribution he’s made over the last five years.”

Dulieu joins Rita Clifton, who is deputy chair of the partnership board, as a non-executive. The retailer is seeking another non-exec to replace Nish Kankiwala who was named chief executive in March after two years as a non-executive.

Dulieu takes up her post as the partnership seeks to turn its fortunes around and amid controversy over a potential dilution of its unique co-owned model by bringing in external investment for the first time.