James Timpson

A Capitalist Communitarian

James Timpson OBE is the CEO of the five-generation, family-owned company Timpson, which includes many of the UK’s best-known high street retailers, including Snappy Snaps, Max Spielman, The Watch Lab and more.

James has served as CEO since 2002 and during his tenure the family business has seen consistent and successful growth during a time of great turmoil for traditional UK high street retail. And while the company has enjoyed business success it has also proven to be an innovator in unexpected ways. James has been a long time advocate of employing ex-offenders and today the company employs over 600 former prisoners representing over 10% of the company’s employees as one example.

James comes to TEDxManchester to talk about the Timpson concept around ‘upside-down management’ which is their formula for shared success through real employee empowerment, a company culture built on collaboration, profit, and employee happiness. With a wealth of experience overseeing 2,000 locations across the UK, he challenges the traditional top-down mindset and contends that adopting a mindset, where employees are trusted and valued collaborators rather than mere cogs in the machine, leads not only to financial success but also to enhanced team well-being and happiness.

In addition to his day job, James is Chair of the Prison Reform Trust, the Chancellor of Keele University and a Trustee for the Tate. He is the father to three adult children and lives in Cheshire with his wife, Roisin.

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