When James Bailey left Sainsbury’s in October it’s unlikely he would have imagined his next role to be leading a rival grocer’s response to the biggest public health crisis in a century.
However, that’s the position Bailey now finds himself in on joining John Lewis Partnership (JLP) as Waitrose’s new executive director this week.
Thankfully, Bailey – who has 18 years’ experience at Sainsbury’s mostly in senior commercial roles – is the kind of level-headed character you want in a crisis.
Senior traders can often be intense, ostentatious characters. This is not necessarily a bad thing when you are managing vast revenues and driving your team on to hit aggressive targets. Bailey, by contrast, exudes a sense of calm and control, which should stand him in good stead as he faces the greatest challenge of his career to date.
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