Waterstones promotes Luke Taylor to retail director as Steve Callaghan steps down

Waterstones promotes Luke Taylor to retail director as Steve Callaghan resigns
Waterstones chief operating officer Kate Skipper has announced a raft of operational leadership changes.
// Waterstones promotes Luke Taylor to retail director
// Steve Callaghan has resigned as operations director
// Beccy Preece has also been appointed to logistics director, while Andrew Stephenson will join as HR director

Waterstones has made several changes in the senior operational team after Steve Callaghan announced he would step down as operations director.

The book retailer said Callaghan, who has been with Waterstones for 17 years, decided to step down so he could spend more time with his family.

Chief operating officer Kate Skipper credited Callaghan for playing a “pivotal role” in transforming Waterstones during his time with the business.

READ MORE: Waterstones posts flat sales during “nerve-wracking” Christmas

Skipper also said after taking a break, Callaghan would return to Waterstones in spring to work “on a project basis”.

“We are therefore delighted that we won’t have long to miss Steve – he has kindly agreed to continue to support the business on a number of key projects,” Skipper said.

Meanwhile, Luke Taylor has been appointed as retail director with immediate effect.

Taylor joined the business as a Sunday bookseller, quickly progressing into management through Waterstones branches in Lincoln, Leicester, Nottingham, Piccadilly and London.

In his new role, Taylor will oversee the retail structure while continuing to support the retail support functions.

“We expect the retail environment to remain challenging and changeable for some time; now more than ever, we need to focus our efforts on our skills as booksellers,” Skipper said.

“Luke is a natural bookseller and I can think of nobody better placed to drive our capabilities.”

Other appointments include Beccy Preece taking on the role as logistics director with immediate effect, and Andrew Stephenson joining Waterstones on February 3 in the new role of HR director.

Preece has been leading Waterstones’ hub in Burton for some time, working with Unipart to evolve the hub to best meet the changing needs of the retailer’s shops and online, and overseeing distribution and customer services teams.

On the other hand, Stephenson has a wealth of experience specialising in developing teams within retail where customer service is key.

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