You can always tell when we’ve entered the heart of the ‘golden quarter’ by the slowdown in activity in the jobs market.
At an executive level at least, the market has paused for breath as retailers put all their focus into delivering the kind of Christmas trading performance that can turn a poor year into a moderate year and a good year into a great year.
One move has caught the eye this week, however, and that’s Andrew Murphy’s appointment as chief information officer at the John Lewis Partnership.
Murphy succeeds Paul Coby, the architect of John Lewis’s IT strategy and a key player in its transformation into a leading omnichannel retailer.
Murphy, a JLP lifer who joined the organisation straight out of university in 1992, has played a similarly integral role in the business’s recent development, having spent the past two and a bit years as group productivity and change director.
“CIO is a vitally important role for JLP and one that appears well suited to Murphy’s skillset”
Don’t be fooled by the rather abstruse job title: Murphy has been a driving force behind the delivery of JLP’s manifesto for change, set out in its 2016 annual report, which supports the new business strategy and aims to make the organisation more dynamic and agile.
His task has been to implement plans that support JLP’s productivity improvements, financial strategy and future organisational structure, and with finding efficiencies across both the John Lewis and Waitrose brands.
Productivity is a buzzword in business circles at the moment, in part because the UK performs so poorly on this measure against other developed economies.
Retail productivity is particularly problematic (the Government identifies it as one of five sectors that make up the majority of the UK’s productivity shortfall), however JLP has long been ahead of the curve in this respect and has acknowledged that its long-term financial health relies on maximising productivity and linking it with performance, pay and progression.
It is notable that Murphy’s own progression has taken him into a CIO role where the ability to think strategically is such a desirable attribute.
CIO is a vitally important role for JLP and one that appears well suited to Murphy’s skillset.
With the jobs market winding down, this will be my last article of 2017. I’d like to wish all readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2018.
Major moves this month
|Name||Job role||Previous company/company exiting||Company joining||Job role|
|Takao Kuwahara||Chief executive||Uniqlo Europe||Uniqlo Japan||Chief operating officer|
|Taku Morikawa||Internal promotion||Uniqlo Europe||Chief executive|
|Jesús Lorente||Chief merchandising officer||Carrefour, Spain||Asda||Chief merchandising officer|
|Andrew Moore||Chief merchandising officer||Asda||Retiring|
|Cormac Tobin||UK managing director||Lloyds Pharmacy|
|Alistair McGeorge||New Look||Executive chairman|
|Helen Weir||Chief financial officer||Marks & Spencer|
|Henrietta Baring||UK and Ireland head of IT transformation||Bunnings||Dixons Carphone||IT director|
|Sara Bradley||BHS International||Consultant Brand Director||Debenhams||Womenswear director|
|Ruth Harrison-Wood||Worldwide group customer and marketing director||National Express||Oak Furniture Land||Chief marketing officer|
|Polly Dickens||Creative director||Habitat||Retiring from role|
|Kate Butler||Senior design manager||Internal promotion||Habitat||Creative director|
|John Edgar||Chief financial officer||Harrods|
|Preyash Thakrar||Senior vice president, strategy and real estate||Walmart Canada||Asda||Chief strategy officer|
|Anthony Hemmerdinger||Vice-president of retail south||Internal promotion||Asda||Senior vice president, retail operations director|
|Chris Walker||Vice-president of supermarkets||Internal promotion||Asda||Vice-president, retail south|
|Steve Shirley||Internal promotion||Asda||Vice-president, supermarkets|
|Mark Simpson||Vice-president, central retail operations||Internal promotion||Asda||Vice-president of supply and replenishment|
|Jodie Tate||Zone managing director for the North||Sainsbury’s||Asda||Vice-president, central retail|
|Phil Tenney||Chief information officer||Internal promotion||Asda||Chief digital and technology officer|
|Alexander Bartholomew||Multichannel director||The Range||Steinhoff UK||Ecommerce & digital director|
|Andy Haywood||Chief operating officer||N Brown|
|Ian Kellett||Chief executive||Pets at Home|
|Peter Pritchard||Chief executive of retail||Internal promotion||Pets at Home||Chief executive|