Neil in, Watson out at Waterstone's

Neil in, Watson out at Waterstone's

<p>Bertrams managing director Michael Neil will join Waterstone&#39;s as its commercial director next month, replacing the retailer&#39;s product director Tim Watson, who is stepping down after a year&#39;s interim contract.</p><p>Neil, who worked at Blackwells as commercial director when Waterstone&#39;s m.d. Dominic Myers ran the company, finishes at Bertrams on Christmas Eve and will join Waterstone&#39;s on 31st January next year. Until a successor is appointed, Ian Hendrie, Bertrams finance and commercial director, will be interim m.d. of Bertram Books. Hendrie and Bertrams Library Services m.d. Steve Carter will report into Smiths News c.e.o. Mark Cashmore.</p><p>Waterstone&#39;s m.d. Dominic Myers said: &quot;&#39;Tim has long had plans to leave us in January to develop his own business. We are hugely grateful to him for the great job that he has done delivering renewed vigour to the business and an emphasis on range and availability. </p><p>&quot;I am delighted that Michael will be joining Waterstone&#39;s, and continuing this important work. Michael has extensive industry knowledge and experience having worked at W H Smith, Waterstone&#39;s, Hammicks and Blackwell&#39;s and more recently at Bertrams and will be an invaluable member of the Waterstone&#39;s Board.&quot;</p><p>Neil joined Bertrams in 2005 from Blackwell as commercial director. He was appointed m.d. in 2007 and oversaw the business through its Competition Commission enquiry into the THE merger, its extrication from then-parent Woolworths&#39; collapse into administration in 2008 and moving the Library Services business from Leeds to Norwich.</p><p>Neil said: &quot;I am really sad to be leaving Bertrams but I&#39;ve always had a fondness for Waterstone&#39;s since I worked there years ago. I like Dominic a lot and like working with him. He&#39;s done a great job at Waterstone&#39;s and this is a really good new challenge. I&#39;m looking forward to getting back to bookselling.&quot; He said of future plans: &quot;Tim did a fantastic job and [I will be] building on what he&#39;s done with a great team. </p><p>&quot;Waterstone&#39;s is the biggest bookseller in the UK and everyone wants it to succeed. Over the past 10 months it has been taken in the right direction and I&#39;m lucky to get back there and help contribute to it getting even better.&quot;</p><p>He said of Smiths News, &quot;It&#39;s been a fantastic owner for Bertrams. Mark Cashmore and the others on the board have been brilliant to work for and they were heavily supportive of the business in terms of investment.&quot; </p>In a statement, Cashmore said: &quot;Michael has done a fantastic job as m.d. of Bertrams. We will be sorry to see him go, but understand his reasons and wish him well.&quot;<p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>