Edge Hill University awards Honorary Doctorate to Timpson Chief Executive
Businessman and philanthropist James Timpson OBE, Chief Executive of the pre-eminent shoe repairs company Timpson, is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business by Edge Hill University.
Recognised as a true innovator in business, James has propelled Timpson to record success and earned the admiration of many for his dedication to social justice.
Under his leadership, Timpson has emerged as a pioneer in prisoner reform and is well known or its commitment to providing employment opportunities to former inmates. His efforts have led James to become Chair of the Prison Reform Trust and he supports a variety of prison charities and support groups.
He will be made an Honorary Doctor of Business for his pioneering work and for inspiring the next generation of business professionals.
Reflecting on his Honorary Doctorate, James said: “It’s a privilege and honour to be recognised with an Honorary Doctorate by the University. The award for me is very special and I consider it a celebration of not just my achievements but for all those individuals who have bravely turned their lives around after having a difficult start in life or making a past mistake. ‘Kindness before profit’ is on my Timpson name badge, but it’s also firmly in my heart and I hope to continue to inspire others that although ‘kindness’ might not be on the business studies curriculum, it can add value to any business if it’s within your soul.”
James’ journey with Timpson began at the age of 14 when he served his first customer. Throughout his time at school, he dedicated part of each holiday to work within the business. By 2002, James had worked his way up to become Managing Director and is now the company’s Chief Executive.
From the beginning he was a fervent advocate for the recruitment of ex-offenders, resulting in over 600 prison leavers now being employed by Timpson, comprising more than 10% of the company’s workforce.
In recognition of his exceptional contributions, James was awarded an OBE in 2011 for his services in training and employing disadvantaged individuals. His commitment to responsible business practices in the North West led to his appointment as an ambassador by HRH Prince of Wales in 2015, with a focus on showcasing employability programs that provide much-needed second chances.
During his 15-year tenure overseeing the day-to-day operations of Timpson, the company experienced remarkable growth, expanding from 320 shops to over 2,000, with profits soaring from £3m to over £40m.