John Lewis cut 3,500 jobs last year while hiring new chief on £1.2m pay deal

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The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) underwent significant restructuring last year, resulting in the reduction of 3,500 jobs amidst efforts to streamline operations and save costs.

Despite this, the company employed its first group chief executive on a lucrative £1.2 million pay deal.

The annual report reveals that JLP’s workforce decreased to 72,900 from 76,400 the previous year, leading to a reduction in the overall pay bill. While pay for the JLP chair, Sharon White, remained stable at £1.12 million, the new chief executive, Nish Kankiwala, became the highest-paid director with a salary of £1.18 million.

Further job cuts may be anticipated this year as JLP plans to invest in automation and technology to simplify operations. The group, known for its staff ownership model, is considering additional restructuring measures, with speculation of up to 11,000 job cuts over the next five years.

The recent closure announcement of a Waitrose delivery warehouse puts over 500 jobs at risk, reflecting the ongoing transformation within the company. While JLP aims for profitability and growth, it has opted not to pay its workers an annual bonus for the second consecutive year.

Under the leadership of incoming chair Jason Tarry, JLP is expected to undergo further changes, with a renewed focus on its core retail business. This includes plans to open new Waitrose stores, refurbish existing supermarkets, and invest in technology to enhance customer experience both online and in-store.

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