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UPDATE 1-UK's John Lewis to run department stores and Waitrose as one business

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LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Britain's John Lewis Partnership said that from next year it will run its eponymous department stores and its upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose as a single business, eliminating separate bosses for the two divisions.

The employee-owned group said on Tuesday its "Future Partnership" restructuring plan will see Paula Nickolds, the current boss of John Lewis department stores, become the partnership's executive director, brand, from Feb. 3 2020.

Rob Collins, head of Waitrose for the last four years, will step down from the business in January after a 26-year career.

The partnership said its current finance chief, Patrick Lewis, will become executive director, finance, and new executive directors for trading and for strategy will be appointed.

All of the new positions will work under Sharon White - the current head of UK telecoms and media regulator Ofcom who will succeed Charlie Mayfield as the partnership's chairman early next year. (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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