New blinkbox role for Tesco's Blackman

Tesco’s head of books Garry Blackman is to join the supermarket’s digital reading service blinkbox books in September. He will be replaced in his current role by Tesco’s current head of news and magazines, Paul Duffy.

Blackman will be leading supplier relations for blinkbox books and have a “broader ambassadorial role” for the company, according to blinkbox books managing director Gavin Sathianathan.

Blackman has worked in book buying for Tesco for the last four years.

Duffy, Tesco’s current head of newspapers and magazines, will take on the additional responsibility for books and become the head of category for books, newspapers and magazines at Tesco.

Sathianathan said: “Garry took over the books category at Tesco in 2009 and since then has led a renaissance in this business, finding new ways to work with both authors and the publishing industry more broadly. Garry will lead blinkbox books' supplier relationships on physical books and will play a broader ambassadorial role as we build a movement around a passion for reading. He brings a wealth of experience, an unrivalled network and a huge amount of talent to our team.”

Tesco bought an 80% stake in the film-streaming website blinkbox in April 2011. It has since rebranded Mobcast, an e-book company founded by Andy McNab and Tony Lynch, which the supermarket bought for £4.5m last September, as blinkbox books.

The company has also poached Sainsbury’s head of online entertainment Mark Bennett to lead blinkbox music, a music service to be rolled out following the acquisition of WE7 in June 2012. Both are expected to launch later in the year in time for Christmas.

Bennett was involved in negotiating the deal to buy a majority stake in e-book company Anobii from the HMV Group for Sainsbury’ last June, for £1.