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Paula Nickolds appears to be a victim of the ‘glass cliff’ syndrome. The term is a twist on the ‘glass ceiling’ – the invisible barrier that stops women reaching the top.
It was coined by academics at Exeter University, who found that women are often put in charge when companies are on the slide – putting them at high risk of being toppled, no matter how brilliant they may be.
Nickolds - Director - Time - Problems - Middle
Nickolds has been managing director since 2017, arguably too short a time to judge whether she could fix the deep-seated problems at what was once Middle Britain’s best-loved retailer.
She was supposed to be the key player in the company’s plans to revive itself – but her exit leaves that strategy in disarray.
Departure - John - Lewis - Crisis - Proportions
It is not entirely clear whether she was pushed out or decided she had had enough. But with her departure, it is evident John Lewis has descended into a crisis of nightmare proportions.
What makes her departure all the more intriguing is that, just three months ago, she was handed a promotion which would have given her control of John Lewis’s sister brand, Waitrose.
Weeks - Part - Overhaul - £100million - Costs
She was due to start within weeks, as part of a huge overhaul aimed at slashing £100million in costs.
Instead, the 46-year-old is leaving the company where she has spent her entire career since leaving Southampton University.
Husband - Years - David - Morley - John
She even met her husband of more than 15 years, David Morley, at John Lewis’s flagship Oxford Street store, where he was a manager in homewares and she in fashion.
She had some notable successes in her...
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