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Rita Clifton

Rita Clifton

portfolio chairman & director, John Lewis Partnership

Rita has been called ‘Brand guru’ by the Financial Times and ‘The doyenne of branding’ by Campaign magazine.

Rita graduated from Cambridge University and started her career in advertising, where she became Vice Chairman and strategy director at Saatchi & Saatchi in its most successful period. She then joined Interbrand, the leading brand consultancy, as London CEO and later Chairman for a ten year term. She now has a portfolio of chairing and non-executive director roles, including John Lewis Partnership and Ascential plc. Past board roles have included ASOS plc, Dixons Retail plc, Nationwide Building Society, Bupa, Emap and Populus, the opinion pollster and research company. In 2013, she co-founded BrandCap, the global brand and business consultancy which she recently sold on the management group.

She has worked with many leading retail businesses, including Marks & Spencer, Lane Crawford and Alliance Boots, and she speaks around the world on all aspects of brands, branding and business leadership. Retail speaking and judging engagements have included International New York Times, Retail Week, Google and Economist conferences. She is also a regular commentator in all the major media and social channels and was a judge and mentor on CNBC’s award-winning series ‘Pop Up Start Up’, which was supported by Alibaba. Her writing has included the best selling book ‘The Future of Brands’, The Economist book ‘Brands & Branding’, and most recently, ‘Love Your Imposter’, on new types of leadership.

Pro bono board roles include Chair of the global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future, as Trustee and Fellow of WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) and the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission. In the Queen’s 2014 New Year’s Honours List, Rita was awarded a CBE for services to the creative industries.


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