Kankiwala boasts 40 years’ experience within the food and drink industry and has held senior positions at PepsiCo, Unilever and global fast food chain Burger King.
He continued his career within private equity led businesses and joined Hovis in 2014, initially as chairman and in the past five years as chief executive.
Commenting on his appointment, Kankiwala said: “The Partnership is a business I’ve long admired for its unique ethos and its special brands. The business now has a significant opportunity to play an even bigger role in its customers’ lives. I’m looking forward to working closely with the board and supporting the Partnership.”
Joining from April
Kankiwala is a Fellow at the Institute of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow at University College London, where he graduated in Chemical Engineering. He will join the Partnership Board on 12 April.
Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Nish is a fantastic appointment to the Partnership Board. He brings a wealth of experience in retail and fast moving consumer markets. He’s led well known global brands and ones with rich heritage and trust like the Partnership.”
Kankiwala is to replace Laura Wade-Gery. She is to step down from the Partnership board when her term ends on 30 April 2021 – ending almost four years of time with the business as non-executive director.
‘Part of the partnership’
She said: “It's been a privilege to be a part of the Partnership, to experience first-hand the power of the unique Partnership model and to use my external perspective and business experience to help shape its strategy and development. I am looking forward to staying connected through my family's regular shopping habits.”
Wade-Gery previously served as chief executive of Tesco until February 2011 and as an executive director for Marks & Spencer. She currently is chair of NHS Digital and deputy chair for NHS improvement.
Sharon White added: “I’m incredibly grateful to Laura who has done a brilliant job since joining the Board in 2017. Laura has made a significant contribution to the Partnership and she leaves with our best wishes for the future.”
Meanwhile, James Maguire has been named as the new president of Pulses UK, the trade association representing the processors and users of British-produced pulses.