Dame Clare Tickell and Michael Herlihy have been appointed as the John Lewis Partnership’s first independent directors.

Dame Clare Tickell is currently non-executive director at the National Audit Office, chair of the board at the Early Intervention Foundation and a fellow of the RSA. She was chief executive of Hanover Housing Association from 2014-18 and prior to that held a number of senior roles at Action for Children, Stonham Housing Association and a range of other organisations providing housing for people. 

Michael Herlihy will begin his new role in February. He was appointed as partnership secretary and a member of the partnership’s executive team last year. He joined the Partnership from Smiths Group where he was general counsel for almost 10 years, prior to which he spent 26 years at Imperial Chemical Industries. He has also held a variety of non-executive roles including that of senior independent director at Imperial Brands.

Both will report to Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, who says: “I’m delighted with these appointments and the experience both Clare and Michael will bring to these roles. The independent directors are new roles formed as part of our review of the partnership’s governance structure. They are designed to provide a source of insight and challenge on the extent to which they are upholding the principles of the constitution. Free from operational responsibilities, the independent directors work on behalf of the chairman and trustees of the constitution, and will play a critical role in ensuring the integrity of the partnership.”