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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."

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What! No comments yet?!! Can't i tempt you with just a little snide one, no? ...Ok then... Oh no wait here we go...

looks like a good line up. it's too close to the dreaded Christmas for them to make much impact...roll on the New Year.

No comments because it's none of anyones business other than them.

For me, anything that get's Waterstone's back in a relevant and commercial sense is great. I care little for who is on the Board; all I worry about is ensuring they keep the business successful so those on the shop floor who have little say but keep the wheels grinding and the customers happy keep their jobs. Those people have been through a tough time recently so it would be great for them to now have some stability. And as the business grows (as I hope it will) then some of those let go could perhaps be re-hired?

Fingers crossed! I have a good feeling about this change.

Day after day I sat by the phone .....

Anyway new Board, what about renaming Gower St Waterstones -"DILLONS"?
Been done before ? Yes but Una Dillon opened that store and it has a real international history just like Hatchards [Wisely not renamed Waterstones].
Gower st was for a time the largest bookshop in the World and possibly remains the largest in the UK? When I was involved it almost reached £20m turnover in one year and that was a lot of money in the early 1990's. Worthy of a unique name within the Group I think .

Why bother? Those people who still remember it as Dillons are few and far between and the ones that might care are even rarer. It's too long ago now to change back. It would be a pointless exercise. It would cost money and hardly increase sales. I don't see any csutmers saying - "I'll go back to Gower street to buy my books now that they've changed the name".

Nick Perren!!!

Revenge is truly a best eaten cold etc - Hodder, John Murray buy-out.

Excellent group. Few boards have people who can help them do something versus being focused on financial control. Productive group; good luck to them!

Julian, whenever I have had the misfortune to deal with the Gower Street branch they have been unhelpful and rude.

Then or now Elizabeth?

In anycase Chris , my comment was really aimed at the international , institutional,and academic support for Dillons Gst . It was never a real retail store [Gower st is off pitch] and we worked hard to get the retail footfall up . Over 30% turnover was pure academic and this is where the Dillons badge was important around the world and the U.K.for Gower st .

I agree that individual brands are bad news for advertising and marketing [I had Dillons, Hatchards, Athena Bookshops, The Economist Bookshop, and Claude Gill at one stage].This was concentrated to Dillons and Hatchards

Waterstone's Piccadilly is the largest bookshop in Europe, or at least it was when I was working there five years ago.

Me too Julian. I was (am) available. Joshing aside, good luck chaps keep an eye out for those Amazon chappies at tn o clock high.

And yet, Elizabeth, I have had the exact opposite experience to you when dealing with Gower Street. Apart from ridiculously long times waiting for ordered books to come in (which are not the fault of the staff) those who work at Gower Street are friendly, knowledgeable and at times a little eccentric which adds to the atmosphere of the place.

But, your experience is as valid as mine but I hope you give them another chance: it was probably just an off day for the employee you dealt with.

What! No comments yet?!! Can't i tempt you with just a little snide one, no? ...Ok then... Oh no wait here we go...

looks like a good line up. it's too close to the dreaded Christmas for them to make much impact...roll on the New Year.

No comments because it's none of anyones business other than them.

For me, anything that get's Waterstone's back in a relevant and commercial sense is great. I care little for who is on the Board; all I worry about is ensuring they keep the business successful so those on the shop floor who have little say but keep the wheels grinding and the customers happy keep their jobs. Those people have been through a tough time recently so it would be great for them to now have some stability. And as the business grows (as I hope it will) then some of those let go could perhaps be re-hired?

Fingers crossed! I have a good feeling about this change.

Day after day I sat by the phone .....

Anyway new Board, what about renaming Gower St Waterstones -"DILLONS"?
Been done before ? Yes but Una Dillon opened that store and it has a real international history just like Hatchards [Wisely not renamed Waterstones].
Gower st was for a time the largest bookshop in the World and possibly remains the largest in the UK? When I was involved it almost reached £20m turnover in one year and that was a lot of money in the early 1990's. Worthy of a unique name within the Group I think .

Why bother? Those people who still remember it as Dillons are few and far between and the ones that might care are even rarer. It's too long ago now to change back. It would be a pointless exercise. It would cost money and hardly increase sales. I don't see any csutmers saying - "I'll go back to Gower street to buy my books now that they've changed the name".

Waterstone's Piccadilly is the largest bookshop in Europe, or at least it was when I was working there five years ago.

Nick Perren!!!

Revenge is truly a best eaten cold etc - Hodder, John Murray buy-out.

Excellent group. Few boards have people who can help them do something versus being focused on financial control. Productive group; good luck to them!

Julian, whenever I have had the misfortune to deal with the Gower Street branch they have been unhelpful and rude.

And yet, Elizabeth, I have had the exact opposite experience to you when dealing with Gower Street. Apart from ridiculously long times waiting for ordered books to come in (which are not the fault of the staff) those who work at Gower Street are friendly, knowledgeable and at times a little eccentric which adds to the atmosphere of the place.

But, your experience is as valid as mine but I hope you give them another chance: it was probably just an off day for the employee you dealt with.

Then or now Elizabeth?

In anycase Chris , my comment was really aimed at the international , institutional,and academic support for Dillons Gst . It was never a real retail store [Gower st is off pitch] and we worked hard to get the retail footfall up . Over 30% turnover was pure academic and this is where the Dillons badge was important around the world and the U.K.for Gower st .

I agree that individual brands are bad news for advertising and marketing [I had Dillons, Hatchards, Athena Bookshops, The Economist Bookshop, and Claude Gill at one stage].This was concentrated to Dillons and Hatchards

Me too Julian. I was (am) available. Joshing aside, good luck chaps keep an eye out for those Amazon chappies at tn o clock high.