Andy Street, the veteran boss of John Lewis, is to step down from the department store chain after he was this evening selected as the Conservative candidate to run as the mayor of the West Midlands.
It is thought that Mr Street, who has spent his entire career at the John Lewis Partnership, the chain’s parent group, will leave at the end of October.
The business is expected to make a statement tomorrow morning regarding his departure and his successor.
Oxford-educated Mr Street has been with the partnership, which also owns Waitrose, for more than 30 years. He started as a graduate trainee and has been managing director of the John Lewis division since 2007.
Strong contenders to succeed him as MD include Mark Lewis, the chain’s retail director, Paula Nickolds, who is John Lewis’s commercial director, and Andrew Murphy, the partnership’s productivity director.
Mr Street, who was brought up in Birmingham, last night said he was “honoured” to be selected to fight the mayoral contest. The vote will be in May.