Sydney Davies, the Booksellers Association’s head of trade and industry, is retiring after 26 years.
The BA has appointed Giles Clifton, a non-practising barrister, to the new role of head of corporate affairs following his departure.
Clifton will begin in October and focus on lobbying for the trade body.
Davies joined the BA in 1989 as trade practice executive after a career as a bookseller and bookshop manager. He later became the BA’s head of trade and industry and has been responsible for supply chain issues, monitoring and reacting to trade matters, government and EU legislation, writing BA submissions to Whitehall and Brussels legislators, and keeping members informed of any developments that would impact on their businesses.
The BA said his knowledge was “second to none” in his field of expertise and he would be “very much missed” by his BA colleagues and the wider trade.
Tim Godfray, c.e.o. of the Booksellers Association, said: “This really is the end of an era for us. We will miss Syd hugely, especially his knowledge of literature and the arts and his excellent guided London walks.”
He added: “Syd has spent 26 years of his life helping booksellers and working for the development of the bookselling sector. He has a stunning grasp on what is going on in so many areas. Above all, he is an amazing researcher. How he manages to assimilate all the information he does about, say, market developments, is quite remarkable. We wish him all the very best in the next—very different—stage of his life.”
Davies served on several boards, including Batch and BIC, and has worked closely with Godfray on recent competition issues of particular concern to BA members, such as Amazon.
The BA has taken the opportunity to review Davies’ role and appointed non-practising barrister Giles Clifton into the newly appointed role of head of corporate affairs.
The BA has made the move following “the increasing importance of lobbying activity”.
The trade body has recently taken a lead role in pressing for a regulatory investigation into Amazon, The Bookseller revealed in June. The association submitted a dossier to the Competition & Markets Authority last November about Amazon’s “domination” of the UK market, which it believes paved the way for the European Commission to begin its formal anti-trust investigation of the retailer.
The commission launched a probe into the way Amazon distributes e-books and its relationship with publishers in June.
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