James Timpson is Chief Executive of Timpson, a family retail business based in Manchester.
Through 625 shops across the UK and Ireland Timpson is the largest shoe repairer, key cutter, engraver and watch repairer. Over 3000 colleagues run the shops within an "upside down management" structure which Timpson has developed to ensure those serving customers are the most important in the business; everyone else is there to help.
Max Speilmann consists of 200 photo processing stores and is a recent addition to the Timpson family.
Before and after Durham University James worked in all areas of the business from branch manager to area manager until joining the Timpson House team.
James and his father John have created a unique business culture that is based on recruiting personalities and giving them complete authority to run their shops however they want. Timpson is well known as being a great place to work and has recently purchased a seaside hotel to increase the number of holiday homes for colleagues.
In 2011 James was given an OBE in the Queens birthday honours list for his work with the Timpson Foundation which helps ex-offenders find work upon release. Timpson has a number of training workshops in various prisons around the UK. James is married to Roisin and with their three children live near Chester.