Matthew Cashmore, digital director at Blackwell’s, will leave the company in January to become a priest.
Cashmore joined Blackwell’s as digital director in November 2012 after a two-year stint as digital development director at Hachette. At Blackwell's he was tasked with “integrating physical sales with digital”.
During his short time he oversaw the refreshing of the Blackwell’s website to allow online sales to go to individual Blackwell’s stores, set up a new CRM and database system and established a development team which created digital textbook platform Blackwell Learning, based in London’s Shoreditch, among other innovations.
Blackwell’s said it was now searching for an “exceptional candidate” to continue Cashmore’s work and “develop strategies to continually move our business forward.”
David Prescott, c.e.o of Blackwell’s, said: “The two years Matthew has spent with us have been transformational for our business, enabling us to take a unique position at the heart of digital developments in academic and professional bookselling. We are hugely grateful to him for his vision and guidance and wish him every possible success on his path to a new vocation."
Cashmore added: “The future of Blackwell’s has never looked so good and this opportunity is truly one of most exciting in the digital world at the moment. It was a tough decision to leave Blackwell’s but this is the right time for me to hand on the baton”.
His vision was to "seamlessly integrate online with bricks and mortar retailing" at the company. In a business profile in The Bookseller last year, he said: “It’s my vision that a customer will be able to walk up to a till, type in their email address and pay via Paypal, or on their phone, or by using their online password—and I don’t see anyone else out there doing that work at the moment. We’re talking to till suppliers and looking into building our own till system so the work has started and I want it live as soon as I can physically build it.”
Cashmore was also the technical producer for The Bookseller’s Futurebook Hack in June this year, where he first revealed to participants he was training to become a priest.
He will be speaking at The Futurebook Conference this Friday (14th November) in the panel “What is the Future of Content Retailing?”