John Lewis Partnership is to cut a third of its senior management by integrating executives at its department store with supermarket chain Waitrose.
The employee-owned group plans to run the two brands as one to speed up decision-making and make internal and customer service systems more efficient through shared IT and supply chains.
One executive team of seven new directors will replace divisional boards and numerous individual roles, with 75 senior managers to be axed from the current total of 225.
Sharon White, current head of UK media regulator Ofcom and incoming chairman of John Lewis Partnership, will lead the new executive committee when current chair Sir Charlie Mayfield steps down in 2020.
The retail company reported in March that profits had almost halved to £160mln in the last calendar year and expects the restructuring to save £100mln.
Mayfield said that the lesson of the last two years was that the Partnership needed “more innovation, faster decision making and bolder steps”.
“We are confident, as a board, that when the programme is complete, the Partnership will be better positioned to break out from the cycle of declining returns that are affecting most established retailers.”
“We will be a more modern and more unified business with a leadership team and cost structure that will enable the business to thrive in the long-term”.
Among the new executive team will be Paula Nickolds, currently managing director of John Lewis & Partners, as director of brand, and the company founder’s great-grandson Patrick Lewis as director of finance.
The retail partnership has yet to appoint directors of trading and strategy.
Changes will be implemented on 3 February 2020.