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Nickolds gets top job at John Lewis

Paula Nickolds at John LewisJohn Lewis has followed Marks & Spencer by appointing a long-serving executive who worked their way up from the shop-floor as its new boss.

The chain has named Paula Nickolds as its new md, succeeding Andy Street. He is due to step down on 28 October after being selected as Conservative Party candidate for the office of Mayor of the West Midlands.
Nickolds, 43, joined the group in 1994 as a graduate trainee at its Oxford Street, London store. She held a number of senior roles before joining the John Lewis management board as buying and brand director in 2013. Most recently as commercial director, she has been responsible for innovation in John Lewis's product assortment and the look and feel of its shops.
'At a time of transformation in the retail sector, Paula's progressive and dynamic leadership is just what's needed for the next phase of modern retailing,' says Sir Charlie Mayfield, John Lewis Partnership chairman.
'As a partner with 22 years service, I know just how special the John Lewis Partnership is. Driven by our unique business model, and with innovation in our DNA, I am immensely excited to lead John Lewis on the next stage of our journey,’ she says.
Nickolds will take up the position next January. Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director will be the ‘lead director responsible for John Lewis operations’ until Nickolds takes the role.
Steve Rowe became Marks & Spencer ceo in April, after joining the chain in 1989 as a part-time member of staff. He joined head office in 1992 as a merchandiser for menswear, working across all areas of the group. In 1998 he became category manager in the furniture department, leading the team developing the Home Growth strategy. He appointed head of home categories in 2003, going on to become director of home in 2004.