// John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis will leave the department store at the end of March
// He joins John Lewis MD Paula Nickolds and Waitrose MD Rob Collins in a growing list of senior management departures
// Inglis has been with John Lewis for 12 years and is credited for introducing the retailer’s famous Christmas adverts
John Lewis customer director Craig Inglis is poised to step down from the department store, joining a growing list of senior management departures.
Inglis is due to leave in March after working at the business for 12 years, where he was responsible for introducing John Lewis’ now famous Christmas adverts.
Staff were informed yesterday of Inglis’ departure, which comes after less than a month after John Lewis managing director Paula Nickolds revealed she would also be leaving the department store retailer.
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The news comes as former as Ofcom boss Sharon White is set to assume her role John Lewis Partnership chair from next week, replacing outgoing chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield.
Meanwhile, Rob Collins – managing director of stablemate Waitrose – is also slated to leave his position and the John Lewis Partnership in a few weeks’ time as part of a head office restructure.
Inglis first joined John Lewis in March 2008 as head of brand communications after a stint as sales and marketing director at Virgin Trains.
In 2010, he was promoted to director of marketing, then customer director in 2015.
In 2017, he was handed extra responsibility for John Lewis’ website, store development and design.
Perhaps his most notable achievement at the department store chain was appointing agency Adam & Eve/DDB to the retailer’s advertising account in 2009.
The move led to the creation of some of the most celebrated adverts of the decade for John Lewis, especially Christmas adverts like The Long Wait and Monty the Penguin.
“We have announced to partners that Craig Inglis will leave the partnership at the end of March,” a John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said.
“Craig has decided that, having worked for the business for 12 years, latterly as customer director, now is the right time to explore opportunities outside the partnership.”
Inglis said: “It has been an honour to work for the John Lewis Partnership with its two extraordinary brands, which I am confident will go on from strength to strength.
“I’ve had an amazing journey over the last 12 years and I feel now is the right time for me to try something new outside the partnership.”
Inglis’s decision to leave the retailer comes after a challenging Christmas sales period for John Lewis, which saw like-for-like sales fall by two per cent year on year in the seven weeks to January 5, while gross sales were down 2.3 per cent to £1.13 billion.
Meanwhile last October, the John Lewis Partnership unveiled its Future Partnership strategy, which will see Waitrose and John Lewis merge into one integrated operation at head office level while the two retail brands will continue operate separately on the high street.
The restructure will see 75 of the partnership’s 225 head office jobs cut, and the company is expecting to save £100 million as a result.
As part of the restructure, Inglis was expected to take a customer-facing general management role as group customer director, while his Waitrose counterpart Martin George was to become group marketing director.
It is now unclear what will happen to Inglis’ role or that of George.
Meanwhile, Nickolds was due to take on a new role as executive director of brand at John Lewis Partnership, a position that essentially merges and replaces the managing director roles of John Lewis and Waitrose.
However, she will now leave the partnership next month.
According to Marketing Week, for the time being Nickolds’ role will not be replaced but incoming chair Sharon White will decide on her replacement and the nature of the role going forward.