Former ASOS Board member joins John Lewis as Deputy Chairman

Rita Clifton is a serial Board executive and will be utilised by the struggling retailer for her skills in brand strategy

Former ASOS Board member Rita Clifton has joined department store chain John Lewis as its Deputy Chairman.

The struggling retailer is expected to utilise her skills in brand strategy, as she has previously served as Vice Chairman and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi and co-founded the business consultancy BrandCap.

Clifton, who is expected to join John Lewis in February, has previously held non-executive roles with Nationwide Building Society and media company Ascential.

Meanwhile, she has sat on non-for-profit Boards at WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature), the UK Sustainable Development Commissions and as a Trustee of the environmental think tank Green Alliance.

“I’m delighted that Rita is joining the partnership as Deputy Chairman,” said John Lewis’ CEO Sharon White, who took up the role in June last year.

“She brings a wealth of leadership experience across an impressive career. Rita is a perfect fit for the partnership and we’ll benefit greatly from her deep expertise in brand strategy and retail.

“I’m very grateful to Andy Martin who has done a fantastic job as our interim Deputy Chairman.”

Meanwhile Clifton said she had long admired the brands.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Board as the partnership enters the next exciting phase in its development,” she said.

John Lewis has struggled to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with shuttered stores resulting in declining sales.

As a result, the employee-owned retailer has set in motion a cost-cutting drive, which will see it save £300m in outgoing costs.

Around £50m has already been saved from redundancies across the business in order to make John Lewis more agile.

Companies