The London Book Fair Announces New Non-Executive Chairman as Simon Master Steps Down

 London, 26 January 2012: The London Book Fair has named David Roche as the Non-Executive Chairman of their Advisory Board following Simon Master’s retirement from the post after five years.

Master, who has also recently announced his retirement as a Non-Executive Director of the Random House UK Group, was appointed as the inaugural Chairman of The London Book Fair Advisory Board when it was established by The London Book Fair, in 2006. Since then, Simon has worked closely with Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Books & Publishing at Reed Exhibitions, to ensure that the book fair evolves in tune with the fast-changing needs of the international book industry.

Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Books & Publishing at Reed Exhibitions, commented:

“Simon has been an absolute pleasure and inspiration to work with. His experience needs no embellishment – he is one of the greats in publishing and we have benefited hugely from his knowledge, insights and advice. On a personal level, he is great fun to work with and has a lightness of touch that makes working with him both on the advisory board and within The London Book Fair team a great joy. As he hands over the baton to David, we consider ourselves very fortunate both to have had such a wonderful Non-Executive Chairman and also to have such a dynamic new Chairman.

“David’s skills and experience complement those of Simon’s very well as the book industry embraces digital opportunities with all the changing facets of retail and etail channels. These are exciting times and we look forward to working with David to ensure that The London Book Fair is the forum for showcasing opportunities, offering high quality education and facilitating debate.”

Roche brings a wealth of experience across the publishing, retail and entertainment sectors; prior to running David Roche Enterprises Ltd, he has held board and CEO positions in the retail sector – at HMV, Waterstones and Borders UK & Ireland, during which time he also held the position of President of the Booksellers Association. His publishing experience includes a two year post as Group Sales & Marketing Director at HarperCollins UK where he was responsible for a major cultural and structural change management programme to position the sales and marketing functions for a rapidly changing marketplace.

Roche currently brings his extensive operational, buying and strategic experience in book, music, DVD and games retailing to his role within his eponymous organisation that aims to exploit the links between the creative, media and retailing environments in the arts, publishing and entertainment fields.

Commenting on his new role, David Roche said:

“I am delighted to be joining The London Book Fair Advisory Board as Chairman, having been a founder member back in 2006 under Simon’s excellent stewardship. With the rapid changes that we are experiencing in the publishing world, it is important to remember that this is still an industry that is all about people, and The London Book Fair is a vital meeting place to conduct business and exchange ideas.

“I look forward to working with the Board and the talented LBF team to help ensure that the Fair continues to evolve, innovate and grow as the compulsory part of the global calendar that it is today.”

Master hands over to Roche later this month on the occasion of the judging meeting to decide the winner of the coveted London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented on Tuesday April 17th at this year’s London Book Fair.

On his retirement, Master comments, ‘I have greatly enjoyed my time with The London Book Fair and would like to thank all members of The Advisory Board for their support during my tenure as Non-Executive Chairman. They have all been suitably outspoken at times – but always committed and constructive. I also took great pleasure from working with Alistair, his LBF colleagues and Midas PR over these years. I wish David and all those involved with this terrific event every success in the future.’


For further information about The London Book Fair 2012, please contact Nicola Green, Midas Public Relations, tel: 020 7361 7860, email:

Note to Editors:

THE LONDON BOOK FAIR The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. The London Book Fair brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. The London Book Fair 2012, the 41st Fair, will take place from 16-18 April 2012, Earls Court, London. China is Market Focus country in 2012, following Russia in 2011. For further information, please visit:  

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