John Lewis & Partners customer director Craig Inglis, the marketer who introduced the brand’s famous epic Christmas ads, is leaving the retailer at the end of March after 12 years.
Staff were informed today of Inglis’ departure, which comes as former Ofcom boss Sharon White is set to assume her role as chairman at John Lewis Partnership from next week. Earlier this month, it was announced that Paula Nickolds, managing director of John Lewis & Partners, will also leave.
A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said: "We have announced to partners that Craig Inglis will leave the Partnership at the end of March. Craig has decided that, having worked for the business for 12 years, latterly as customer director, now is the right time to explore opportunities outside the Partnership."
Inglis joined John Lewis in March 2008 as head of brand communications from Virgin Trains, where he was sales and marketing director. In 2010, he was promoted to director of marketing, followed by customer director in 2015. In 2017, he was handed extra responsibility for the brand’s website, store development and design.
Perhaps the most significant decision in his career at the retailer was appointing then-start-up agency Adam & Eve to the brand’s advertising account in 2009. The shop – which later became Adam & Eve/DDB – went on to create some of the most celebrated ads of the decade for John Lewis, in particular Christmas campaigns including "The long wait" and "Monty the penguin". In December, Campaign named John Lewis its Advertiser of the Decade.
Inglis has been chairman of The Marketing Society since January 2018. In 2016, he was honoured with his own musical tribute from Radiocentre.
He said: "It has been an honour to work for the John Lewis Partnership with its two extraordinary brands, which I am confident will go on from strength to strength. I’ve had an amazing journey over the last 12 years and I feel now is the right time for me to try something new outside the Partnership."
Following the announcement in October of a restructure that is bringing together the previously separate business operations of John Lewis and Waitrose, Inglis was expected to take a customer-facing general management role as group customer director, while his Waitrose counterpart Martin George became group marketing director. Nickolds had been named executive director of brand.