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UPDATE 1-John Lewis hires head of British telecoms regulator as chairman

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June 6 (Reuters) - The head of British telecoms regulator Ofcom, Sharon White, has quit to become the new chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, the employee-owned retailer, both organisations said on Thursday.

White will step down from Ofcom around the turn of the year after more than four years in the job and succeed Charlie Mayfield as John Lewis' chairman in early 2020.

Before joining Ofcom, White was a senior official in Britain's finance ministry and prior to that a senior official in the justice ministry and in the department for international development.

She has also worked as an adviser at the UK Prime Minister's Policy Unit and in Washington DC as a senior economist at the World Bank.

I readily recognise that Sharon is not the conventional retail choice. But these are not conventional retail times, nor is the Partnership a conventional company," said Mayfield.

Ofcom said it has begun a process to appoint White's successor. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru and James Davey in London, Editing by Jane Merriman/Guy Faulconbridge)