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Paul Coby, the group CIO of the John Lewis Partnership, has announced he will be stepping down from the role and leaving the company in 2018, after almost seven years at the firm.
The role will be handed to current group productivity director Andrew Murphy, who will take up the role in February 2018 before Coby leaves the partnership in April 2018.
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his outstanding contribution to our business and the legacy he has left. Paul was the architect of the IT strategy for John Lewis, which helped to transform the business into a leading omni-channel retailer.”
Paul Coby joined the John Lewis Partnership in 2011 as the IT director of its large department store chain John Lewis, before becoming the firm’s first Group CIO in 2016.
During his time at the company, Coby made a number of changes in an attempt to develop its use of technology whilst still keeping its traditional values apparent throughout the businesses.
He supported the retailer’s Jlab initiative alongside early stage startup investment firm L Marks, which saw a number of startups work alongside the business to introduce and develop new technologies which could benefit the way the retailer runs.
Coby’s time as CIO of the John Lewis Partnership has seen this startup accelerator expanded from housing startups directed at specifically helping John Lewis to also offering food retail startups the chance to enter the incubator and work with sister firm Waitrose, and begun to focus on how the group could work with several of the startups in the incubator going into the future as opposed to choosing a single winner for each year’s lab.
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Services such as click-and-collect, a customer mobile application and a seamless customer experience are all technology-powered projects that Coby has looked in to during his time at John Lewis as an attempt to stay ahead of the technology curve in the retail space as consumers are becoming more and more demanding.
As well as his role at John Lewis, Coby acts as a non-executive director for several companies, including Pets at Home and CYBG Plc.
In previous years, Coby was a board director for Sita, as well as a non-executive director for P&O ferries and chair of the CIO board for eSkills UK.
Before his time at John Lewis, Coby was the CIO and head of BA service for airline British Airways, where he was responsible for IT operation, design and delivery.
Coby’s replacement at the John Lewis Partnership, Andrew Murphy, joined the group in 1992, and has held several roles such as managing director for various regions, director of operations development and retail director. Most recently, in his role as group productivity director, Murphy led the firm’s change programme.