Blackwell's Store on Charing Cross Road, London

If feels a little soon to be writing this note but opportunities like this don’t turn up very often. I’m properly excited to share that on November 12th I’ll be joining the board of Blackwell’s as the new Digital Director. It means I’ll be leaving Hachette shortly before – a company that I’ve had a great time with, and learnt a great deal from.

I’m genuinely sad to be leaving a company that gets digital from the very top down. The people I’ve worked with have been fantastic and I feel as if I’m leaving a family behind. But that’s balanced by moving to a company that is starting to do pretty cool stuff digitally – a company with a history that is threaded into the very heart of books, publishing and academia in the UK.

All of this means, of course, that I’ll be leaving London and heading for Oxford – a mere 16 miles from our cottage – it’ll be a hard commute but I’ll do everything I can to put up with it. Stiff upper lip and all that.

Here’s the press release from Blackwell’s that went out on Monday 8th October.


Blackwell’s Bookshops, the academic, professional and specialist bookselling chain founded in 1879, today announces the appointment of a digital director which supports its strategy to capitalise on the growth of digital books.

Blackwell’s is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Cashmore as its new Digital Director. Matthew will have a key strategic focus in managing new opportunities, transitioning and integrating physical sales to digital through bursary and Blackwell’s Online.

Matthew joins us from Hachette UK where as Digital Development Director he has taken a leading role in digital research & development and digital operations across the group’s publishers.

Prior to that Matthew worked for the Lonely Planet where he was Innovation Ecosystem Manager – overseeing the travel publisher’s engagement and development of new and exciting digital propositions, including augmented reality travel guides.

Matthew has also held a senior role with BBC Research and Development.

This new role provides a framework to support Blackwell’s in delivering their business plans.

Matthew says; “Joining Blackwell’s is truly exciting. Its historic place at the heart of so many universities gives it a tremendous opportunity to explore a world in which the physical and digital worlds collide. I’m looking forward to being at the heart of that transformation and helping more generations of students, and academics, discover Blackwell’s”.

Commenting on this appointment, Managing Director, David Prescott said:

“This new appointment represents a key and necessary driver in us delivering our business plan and returning the business to profitability. It is an exciting time for our bookshops – particularly in the digital arena – as our recent partnerships with nook, Course Smart and others have shown. Matthew’s appointment will help us to harness these digital initiatives to help us define and deliver a compelling offer to customers across all channels. We’re thrilled that someone of Matthew’s calibre and experience has chosen to join us at this critical time.”