An astute and determined businessman, Tim Waterstone is the founder of Waterstones bookstores and The Early Learning Centre. He is also the former Chairman of HMV Media Group. A first class keynote speaker, he has a knack for attracting the headlines, although he does not court the publicity. His business story is a remarkable one and his success speaks for itself.
An incredibly astute and determined businessman, Tim Waterstone is the founder of Waterstone's bookstores, and the Daisy & Tom children's department stores, and former Chairman of HMV Media Group plc.
Tim started out his career working 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 in London's Old Brompton Road. He established Waterstone's reputation as the best literary bookshop in the world and changed thereby the face of British book retailing. Waterstone's was also one of the two or three largest and most successful venture capital entities of its time. Nine years later he sold the company 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 stepped down as Chairman of HMV Media Group in 2001 to focus on Daisy & Tom children's department stores. The concept, unique in the world of children's retailing and another of Tim's creations, is a children's department store offering everything from nursery, clothes, books, toys to hairdressing for children ages 0-8.
A man with diverse interests, Tim has held a variety of other general appointments in business and his expertise translates well to the fields of arts and education. He has served on the boards of several companies, including some young companies where his expertise in building up a business proved invaluable. Tim is currently a non-executive director of Yale University Press, National Gallery Publications and FutureStart Venture Capital Fund of BT and Downing Classic Venture Capital Fund. He is an occasional guest lecturer at INSEAD, London Business School, a published novelist and has written countless articles for the literary and business media.
Tim is a world-class speaker. He has a knack for attracting the headlines, his business story is a remarkable one and his success speaks for itself.