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John Lewis chair Sharon White faces scrutiny over strategy as council meets

Dame Sharon White

John Lewis employees can vote on Dame Sharon White’s leadership, as the group council meets this week.

The meeting, which is scheduled for today and tomorrow, will allow employee representatives to question the retailers direction under White, who recently considered selling a stake in the business, which has been dubbed as “highly undesirable” by former chairman Sir Stuart Hampson .

According to The Sunday Times, some council members have requested that the vote of confidence under White’s leadership to be done in secret this week, which the newspaper claims in the past a secret ballot has resulted in significant rebellions.

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However, a spokeswoman said the request for secrecy was due to councillors not wanting to appear in the media.

Despite this, according to recent letters submitted by employees to the John Lewis Partnership’s in-house publication, The Gazette, some employees have voiced their dissatisfaction about White’s leadership.

This comes as ‘Queen of the Shops’, Mary Portas claimed failure for the British high street giant is “not an option”.

In an open letter addressed to White, Portas said: “Failure for John Lewis and Waitrose is not an option. We can’t lose you too. So while you fight for the financial brain of your brand, never forget there’s a battle for its heart and soul too.”

Image credit: John Lewis

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