The department store group said his appointment follows its announcement earlier this year to strengthen its point of difference in three areas: unique products, personal service and expanding into new services.
Under the third strand, the company plans to extend and grow its services in the areas “where trust matters and where customers value it most”: finance, home assurance and home improvements.
With a focus on growing this area of the business, all the teams responsible for delivering services are being brought under this new directorate. Sean will assume responsibility for product services, financial services, hospitality, business-to-business and international development. He will also join the John Lewis management board.
He will take up the position on October 1 and will report to managing director Paula Nickolds. Sean joined the John Lewis Partnership in January 2008 and is currently director of commercial operations. He has also been the chairman of the John Lewis Foundation since 2014. Prior to joining John Lewis, Sean held several commercial customer-facing roles in Centrica and Mars. He has extensive experience across the retail and service industries.
Sean said: “Our expansion into services presents a significant opportunity to grow our business and by focusing on the areas where we know we can add the most value, I believe we are well-placed to succeed.
We have already made great progress, with the acquisition of Opun and the roll out of our home solutions service to more areas, including the whole of London. I’m looking forward to taking up my new role and continuing to work with my colleagues on strengthening and growing this integral part of our business.”
Paula added: “We are committed to winning and maintaining our customers’ trust, and we are being very careful in how we approach our plans to expand our brand beyond our shops and online.
“Sean brings extensive knowledge of our business and substantial experience of working collaboratively with teams across the division, and I’m confident he will lead an exciting transformation of this area.”
John Lewis & Partners operates 50 John Lewis shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis ‘at home’ stores and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com.