Supermarket chain Waitrose is to lose its managing director as Mark Price has announced he is to stand down.
He said yesterday he has resigned his position, along with that of deputy chairman of the John Lewis Partnership which owns Waitrose, to apply for the job of chairman at Channel 4, where he is already deputy chairman.
Price will leave Waitrose on April 3rd 2016 and will be replaced by Rob Collins, the supermarket’s current retail director.
Reaching his 10th year at Waitrose by the time he leaves, Price has overseen a generally successful period for the retailer which weathered the 2008 recession well, though recently the impact of the German discounters has bitten into profits and question marks have been raised over expensive strategies such as free coffee and a personalised promotions scheme, which Price estimated could cost £5m a week.
However, Waitrose has bounced back from 23.4% drop in operating profit in the year to February 2015 to post a 2.1% growth in revenues in the 12 weeks to October 11, 2015 when compared to the 12 before October 12, 2014.
Price had earlier in the year been tipped to replace Sir Charles Mayfield as chairman of the John Lewis Partnership but Mayfield has not resigned from his position.