Tim Waterstone

Founder of Waterstone’s & Executive Chairman, Chelsea Stores

One of the most astute and determined businessmen of recent years, Tim Waterstone is the founder of Waterstone’s, now the largest book chain in the world, outside theUS. He was the founding Executive Chairman of Chelsea Stores (Daisy & Tom and Early Learning Centre), and former chairman of HMV Media Group plc.

A recognised authority on entrepreneurial start-ups, he recently chaired a DTI working party on small business funding. He is an occasional guest lecturer in entrepreneurial studies at INSEAD andLondonBusinessSchool, has lectured to business audiences all over the world, and is a frequent broadcaster.

Tim’s latest book ‘Swimming Against The Stream’, a semi-autobiographical viewpoint on the launching of entrepreneurial businesses, was globally published by Macmillan in 2006. Tim Waterstone has held numerous public appointments in the fields of arts and education, and has published three novels (in English, German, Russian and Polish).

Tim was born inGlasgowand worked for Allied Breweries before joining WH Smith in 1973. Tim founded the remarkably successful Waterstone’s booksellers with £6000 of the redundancy money he received when he was sacked from WH Smith in 1982. He went on to raise £100,000 venture capital and set up Waterstone’s Booksellers with its first shop inLondon’sOld Brompton Road. Tim established Waterstone’s reputation as the best literary bookshop in the world and changed thereby the face of British book retailing. Waterstone’s was one of the two or three largest and most successful venture capital entities of its time. Nine years after starting the company he sold it to his previous employers for £47m, only to buy it back again together with EMI and Advent International in 1998 creating HMV Media Group, of which he became founder Chairman.

Tim is a consummate public speaker and lecturer.