Mark Price, the departing managing director of Waitrose, has said that capitalism is failing to serve society’s needs.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Price said companies which opt to improve employee happiness contribute to a fairer form of capitalism, whereas those which prioritise shareholder value contribute to distrust in business.

Research by the John Lewis Partnership said that 56 per cent of the public thought that “business culture is dominated by greed and selfishness” and 61 per cent agreed that staff were considered as “resources” than human beings.

Mr Price said:

Smart societies cannot be created without fairness, equality and enfranchisement and business has a crucial role to play here.

Society, quite rightly, expects a lot in return from business for the privileges it is afforded. It's time we all delivered the goods and, in return, we will all benefit from significantly improved performance.

In 2008, Mr Price was ranked 31st on the Daily Telegraph’s list of top retail businessmen. Last month he announced he was to leave the John Lewis Partnership next year, after 10 years spent as managing director at Waitrose.

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