Waitrose boss Collins: New JLP structure was a head versus heart decision

Rob Collins

Waitrose managing director Rob Collins said his head beat his heart as he emphatically backed the new management structure at John Lewis Partnership, which will result in his departure.

He also quashed recent speculation that Waitrose could be sold by the John Lewis Partnership.

Collins, who has spent 26 years at the partnership after joining as a graduate trainee in 1993 and led Waitrose for the last four years, will depart in January after deciding that “there isn’t a role in the new structure that I believe is right for me”.

He told Retail Week he fully backed the new arrangement, which brings the management of grocer Waitrose and John Lewis department stores together under a single team reporting to new chair Sharon White.

The roles of managing director and the operating boards of each will be abandoned as the retailer seeks to create one business and the associated synergies.

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