Foyles has announced Sam Husain will be retiring on his 68th birthday in April. Foyles has appointed Paul Currie as the new CEO. Currie brings with him experience of working at a high level with iconic British retail brands including Molton Brown, Cath Kidston and Hamleys. Husain will cease to be CEO when Currie joins on 16 February but will continue until 30 April to facilitate a smooth handover. Thereafter he will remain with Foyles as a non-executive director.
Husain joined Foyles as chief executive in May 2007. He has presided over a period of change and growth at the bookseller, at the same time as the bricks and mortar book retail market has been under tremendous challenge. He has steered the business through five consecutive years of profitable trading, and overseen the move to the new flagship store on Charing Cross Road. Foyles has been consistently respected in the industry, winning Bookseller of the Year in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013, and Children’s Bookseller of the Year in 2012.
The judges of the 2013 Bookseller of the Year award said: “What Foyles has continued to achieve is inspirational. It’s an exciting business doing exciting things. When you think how a really excellent bookshop should be, you think of Foyles.”
Husain has been on the Advisory Council of the Bookseller’s Association since 1 June 2009 and on the board as vice-president since 14 June 2012. He has been an influential spokesperson for the industry, campaigning on behalf of ‘bricks and mortar’ bookshops for fair terms from publishers.
“Sam has been invaluable to Foyles’ continuing renaissance. His leadership has made the past eight years exceptional, culminating in a superb Christmas at our new flagship store and across the business, and news of an exciting new opening in Birmingham. I have enjoyed working with Sam enormously. I’m looking forward to welcoming Paul Currie to Foyles and benefiting from his extensive experience in the retail sector,” says Christopher Foyle, non-executive chairman of Foyles.
Currie began his career with store management positions at Marks & Spencer, rising through to managing the multi-regional European store development in France. Senior roles at retailers including River Island and Hamleys followed. Currie has acted as a consultant to a number of respected retail brands, including Cath Kidston and the White Company, and was vice president of global retail sales at Molton Brown. Most recently, Currie acted as a strategy adviser to the executive chairman of Crabtree and Evelyn.
“The almost eight years I have been CEO of Foyles have been enjoyable and fulfilling. The staff, managers and management team are committed and second to none and are now led by a capable and proven CEO. I believe the company is in excellent hands and in a good position to grow further and benefit from opportunities that arise,” Husain.