Tarry joins the John Lewis Partnership as chairman with over 33 years of experience at Tesco where he was most recently the UK and Ireland CEO, a role he held for six years.

He joined the Tesco graduate programme in 1990. In addition to “delivering market-leading grocery performance” in the UK, he led the expansion of F&F Clothing across Europe as group CEO. 

Tarry is expected to take up the role of John Lewis Partnership chairman in September, at which point White will step down and support the transition as required.

Rita Clifton, deputy chairman and chair of the nomination committe said: “The board extends its huge thanks to Sharon for successfully leading the Partnership through one of the most testing periods in its history – first Covid and then the cost of living crisis. She has faced into the toughest decisions and overseen the Partnership’s financial recovery; we are in good financial health with a return to profit, and have a strong balance sheet with record investment planned this year. Sharon has also helped ensure that employee ownership of the Partnership is secure, is demonstrably focused on its purpose as a force for good and with an open and inclusive culture.

“As the Partnership moves into the next phase of its modernisation focused on our core retail business as well as future growth, we are confident that Jason will provide the kind of inspirational leadership, a proven track record in multi-channel, multi-category retail success and a strong identification with Partnership values that we are seeking in this role. Jason has impressed everyone throughout the interview process with his warmth, his belief in the Partnership’s ideals and democratic principles and his appreciation for our unique and special brands.” 

Tarry, chairman designate added: “The Partnership and its brands stand for trust, value, quality and service and it’s a great privilege to be succeeding Sharon as the seventh chairman. The Partnership is unique and I’ve long been an admirer of the employee-ownership model, its values and Partner-led customer service. This starts with a sharp focus on being brilliant retailers for customers and investing in growth. I’m looking forward to working with the board, Nish (CEO) and the executive team to deliver its clear strategy.” 

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Last month the John Lewis Partnership announced a return to profit for FY23/24 to £56m ($71.61m) from a £234m loss a year earlier. It said it would invest this back into its retail business as opposed to offering its staff a bonus.