Harriet Hounsell, personnel director

John Lewis has appointed Harriet Hounsell as personnel director. The role sits on the John Lewis management board, reporting to managing director Andy Street. Harriet will replace Laura Whyte, who is retiring from the business.

Harriet takes on the role from her current position as Partnership Registrar, where she is the John Lewis board director responsible for ensuring that the business upholds the core principles of the Partnership on behalf of its co-owners. This has given Harriet a unique insight into the role democratic governance can play in creating a high-performing culture. Harriet joined the business as a graduate trainee in 1993. During this period, she has developed a wealth of commercial experience gained through numerous roles and projects in John Lewis and Waitrose, covering both shop and head office functions. She will start her new position on 31st March 2014.

Andy Street, Managing Director, John Lewis, said: “I am delighted that Harriet will be taking on responsibility for personnel at board level. Harriet has spent the past three years making sure Partners’ voices are heard and working collaboratively with senior business leaders to run the organisation in the best interests of its co-owners. She is therefore perfectly placed to devise the personnel strategy for John Lewis, maintaining and developing an environment for our Partners to deliver sustained, commercial success, in a way that continues to set us apart from other organisations.”

Harriet Hounsell said: “I am thrilled and honoured by this opportunity. Our co-ownership model is held up as an example of a different way of doing business by opinion leaders. Leading the personnel function involves putting Partners at the heart of this and I am excited to be taking on this new challenge.”