Waitrose gets new md as Mark Price to step down

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Mark Price is to be succeed as md by Rob Collins next April
Mark Price is to be succeed as md by Rob Collins next April

Related tags Board of directors

Waitrose’s retail director Rob Collins is to replace Mark Price as md, when he leaves the business next April.

Collins has worked with the partnership for 22 years, initially with John Lewis in a number of senior roles before moving to Waitrose in 2007 to establish its e-commerce business. 

‘Strong leadership skills’

The partnership's chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “Rob Collins has been a central figure in Waitrose's management team for a number of years and his strong leadership skills and operational success have ensured that he has been a central part of the Board's thinking on succession planning for some time. 

I'm confident that he will make the step-up to the Managing Director role quickly and effectively.”

Meanwhile, after a 33 year career with the John Lewis Partnership, Price will step down as md of Waitrose and deputy chairman and leave the business April 3 2016. 

Price is thought to be preparing a bid for the chairmanship of Channel 4 and is already deputy chairman at the broadcaster. Current chairman Lord Burns is to retire in the near future.

‘Passionate advocate’

Mayfield said: “Mark is pursuing new opportunities, but he will remain a passionate advocate of the partnership and its ownership model. He has had a long and distinguished career with the partnership and his leadership of Waitrose has seen outstanding success.”​ 

As a board member for 11 years and deputy chairman since 2013, Price had played a key role in steering the partnership, added Mayfield.

Rob Collins – at a glance

  • Currently Waitrose retail director, since January 2012
  • Educated at Edinburgh University, where he read Business Studies and Spanish
  • Spent a year working for textile giant Coats Viyella in Argentina
  • Joined the John Lewis Department Store Graduate Training Scheme from University in 1993
  • Held a number of senior roles in the business including: md John Lewis Aberdeen, md John Lewis Cribbs Causeway and director of selling support at the John Lewis Head Office in Victoria Street London
  • Moved to Waitrose in 2007 to establish its e-commerce function with the brief of helping the business realise a key part of its multi-channel ambitions.
  • April 2010 he was appointed personnel director (Waitrose)

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