Dominic Myers 'Mr Fixit' takes the helm at Waterstone's

<p>Dominic Myers steps up to the top job at Waterstone&#39;s at a difficult time for the book chain. In a surprise announcement made today (14th January) by parent HMV Group, Myers took over from managing director Gerry Johnson with immediate effect. </p><p>But Myers is not an unknown, having joined Blackwell in 2002, before leaving in 2005. He joined Waterstone&#39;s in April 2006 to oversee the integration of Ottakar&#39;s.<a href="../news/27181-dominic-myers-mr-fixit.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/27181-dominic-myers-mr-fixit.html"> Dubbed a &#39;Mr Fixit&#39; in a 2006 profile in <em>The Bookseller</em>, his &#39;to do&#39; list will be a daunting one. Top of it will be addressing its recent sales performance.</a></p><p><a href="../news/109539-johnson-out-at-waterstones-myers-in.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/109539-johnson-out-at-waterstones-myer... HMV announced this morning, for the five weeks to 2nd January, total sales were down 8.6%, with a like-for-like sales decline of 8.5%.</a> For the 10 weeks to the same date, like-for-like sales were down 8.9% and total sales down by 9%, though this was broadly in line with Nielsen Bookscan&#39;s high street measure the GRM, which was down 9.5% in the five weeks, and 8.6% over 10. Nevertheless, HMV&#39;s c.e.o. Simon Fox described the performance as &quot;unsatisfactory&quot;. </p><p>Next on the list will be the hub, with Myers likely to be charged with continuing to drive efficiencies at the supply centre, which despite its delays and the well-documented teething issues last year, publishers say performed well over Christmas. One managing director previously critical of the hub described supply as &quot;fine&quot; this week. The implementation of the hub, and its initial failures, are likely to be what characterises Johnson&#39;s four and a half years at Waterstone&#39;s, despite publishers being generally supportive of Johnson and what he set out to achieve at the chain.<br /><br />Myers arrived at Blackwell after spells with Hasbro, Somerfield and M&amp;S. At Blackwell, he oversaw the introduction of buying and core stock systems, following the Waterstone&#39;s model. He left in July 2005 when Toby Blackwell swept out its management team. <a href="../news/27181-dominic-myers-mr-fixit.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/27181-dominic-myers-mr-fixit.html">In <em>The Bookseller&#39;s</em> profile, written when he joined Waterstone&#39;s, he was described as &quot;a man of contradictions, with </a>the physique of a nightclub bouncer and a crushing handshake. But his appearance is at odds with his gentle manner and soft, Oxford-educated voice.&quot;</p><p>Myers clearly impressed HMV management, who moved him to be its group development director since 2007. In his appointment statement, Fox credits Myers as playing an &quot;important role&quot; in transforming HMV during the past three years.</p><p>Publishers spoken to by <em>The Bookseller</em> today were generally favourable of the new man at the top, even though the integration of Ottakar&#39;s caused some initial disruption with stock replenishment, point of sale and returns as the chain rebranded as Waterstone&#39;s.</p><p>Johnson and Myers were unavailable for comment as this piece was written. </p>