John Lewis appoints Executive Director

The John Lewis Partnership has announced two senior appointments at department store retailer John Lewis.

Peter Ruis joins as Executive Director to lead John Lewis through the next phase of its transformation. 

Peter, who joins the Partnership’s Executive team on 15 January 2024, has more than 30 years of leadership experience at a number of leading retailers and brands. 

He was most recently CEO at Indigo plc in Canada, leading the business as it transitioned out of the pandemic over the past three years. Before that he led Anthropologie’s international drive as MD, and was CEO at Jigsaw for four years, taking the brand into 11 countries and on to the catwalk at London Fashion Week.

Following the appointment, Peter has resigned from his role as a Non-Executive Director of homewares retailer Dunelm with immediate effect.

A former John Lewis Director on its executive team, Peter joined the Partnership in 2005. Over nine years he was a key part of the transformation that led to John Lewis being crowned Retailer of the Year in 2013, in a period where its proposition modernised, it became an omni-channel leader, and its hallmark Christmas adverts were introduced. As Buying and Brand Director, Peter had executive responsibility for the commercial and marketing arms of the business. 

Peter’s early career was spent in buying roles at Marks & Spencer and Ted Baker, and as Brand Merchandising Director within Levi Strauss Europe. 

Peter said: “It’s a great privilege to return to the John Lewis Partnership after 10 years. The John Lewis brand is iconic, loved and trusted by millions of customers across the UK and I’m excited to lead the next phase of the transformation. 

“As the biggest employee-owned business in the UK, we have a huge opportunity to make even more of the unique Partner difference to provide exceptional products and service for our customers.”

Naomi Simcock, who stepped up as interim Executive Director for John Lewis, has been appointed into a new role as Operations Director for John Lewis. Working closely with Peter, Naomi will take responsibility for John Lewis Retail and Supply Chain. 

Nish Kankiwala, CEO of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Peter back to the Partnership. He has a deep understanding of customers, brands and product from his 30 year career spanning a variety of major high street and online retailers.

“He also brings a clear and proven passion for the John Lewis brand and the Partnership model, and I have no doubt he will be integral to our future success.

“I’d like to extend my enormous thanks to Naomi for her unwavering commitment and leadership of the John Lewis teams and business this past year. Naomi will do a brilliant job leading our retail and supply chain teams, working closely with Peter and the John Lewis leadership team.”

Naomi said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed stepping in to lead John Lewis and working with Partners across the business to deliver the quality, value and service our customers expect. I’m looking forward to continuing to be part of the John Lewis Leadership team, supporting our Partners and ensuring our department stores and supply chain continue to deliver for our customers.”

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