Former Book Depository m.d Kieron Smith is to join Blackwell’s as digital director in February.
He replaces Matthew Cashmore in the role, who left this month to join the priesthood.
Smith left the now Amazon-owned Book Depository in November 2013 and proceeded to set up an online bookshop with a wide range of foreign language books called Best Little Bookshop. It sold books into 100 countries with 19 currencies listed on the website and aimed to “recreate the magic and pleasure of the physical bookshop experience online, particularly when it came to browsing.”
However, Smith told The Bookseller he has now closed the project. He said: “I was very happy with how BLB was growing, but this opportunity was just too exciting to pass over.” He added: “Founding and creating The Best Little Bookshop was a valuable learning experience, which I am looking forward to taking with me and applying in my next role."
Smith takes up his new job with Blackwell’s on 2nd February.
Blackwell’s said Smith would bring “a wealth of industry experience” to the role, which would be instrumental in driving growth and supporting the company in delivering its digital agenda.
“With my background in online bookselling, my understanding of customer experience and of the digital environment, I recognise the importance that digital represents as part of the Blackwell’s proposition," said Smith, who is also a non-executive director for National Book Tokens. "I am very excited to be joining such an iconic industry name and look forward to playing my part in delivering the next, exciting part of its development.”
David Prescott, c.e.o of Blackwell’s added: “We are delighted that someone with Kieron’s e-commerce skills and digital experience is joining Blackwell’s as we continue to establish a long term profitable future for the business. Our digital programme is central to the future of our business, not only online, but also in enhancing and supporting our customers’ experience in store.” He added: “We are committed to continue trying to break new ground for our sector and Kieron will be instrumental in helping us further our digital agenda.”