Waterstone's reveals board of directors

Waterstone's has unveiled a new board of directors, including a chairman with business links to Barnes & Noble.

Miranda Curtis, believed to be Waterstone's first chairman in at least 20 years, works for digital broadband business Liberty Global Inc, whose sister company Liberty Media Inc recently bought a 16.6% stake in Barnes & Noble. The bookselling chain’s current m.d., James Daunt is the board’s executive director and Waterstone’s owner Mamut is a non-executive member.

The board also contains a publisher, Nicholas Perren, former m.d. of John Murray and chairman of Profile, and Laurence King as a non-executive member. The other non-executive members are Dennis Stevenson, recently chancellor of the University of Arts in London and former chairman of Pearson Plc, and Marina Groenberg, a Moscow State University graduate who was former c.e.o. of Mamut’s A&NN Group. Groenberg is also on the boards of some of the A&NN Group’s other companies, such as publisher Azbuka-Atticus and Euroset.

Daunt said: “I am delighted to welcome the board to Waterstone’s. As we go through a crucial period of evolution, we are extremely fortunate to have in place a board of such breadth of experience; from small entrepreneurial businesses to large multi-nationals and from publishing and finance to the digital arena. Crucially, they are united by their respect for the arts and understanding of the pivotal role played by high street booksellers in the promotion and support of literature. They will be a real asset to the business.”

Curtis said: “I am proud to accept the chairmanship of Waterstone's, which benefits not only from James Daunt's track record as a consummate bookseller, but also from Alexander Mamut's financial support, which is evidence of his own passionate belief in books and the importance of reading. I look forward to working with them both and with Waterstone's knowledgeable and experienced staff to help the company prepare for the opportunities of the digital age."