Ex-WHSmith CEO among John Lewis Partnership chair contenders

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John Lewis Mamas & Papas
// WHSmith ex-CEO Kate Swann in the running to be next John Lewis Partnership chair
// John Lewis founder’s great grandson Patrick Lewis also in the running

The former chief executive of WHSmith Kate Swann is in the running to become John Lewis Partnership’s next chairman.

External candidates are being considered as John Lewis Partnership chairman for the first time in its history, The Sunday Times reports.

Other runners up include the eponymous department store founder’s great grandson and finance director Patrick Lewis, as well as Direct Line chief executive Paul Geddes.

Lewis previously worked at John Lewis for 25 years and is in the lead to becoming chairman as Sir Charlie Mayfield resigns from the partnership next year.

Moreover, Swann worked as WHSmith chief executive for 10 years, doubling its share price and turning losses of £135 million into profits of over £100 million.

Geddes, on the other hand, led Direct Line’s de-merger from RBS and its float on the stock exchange, expanding its shares by around 80 per cent in the last six years.

The John Lewis Partnership, which operates Waitrose and John Lewis, is due to report its full-year results later this week.

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