Retail vet exited Waterstone's in 2005.

British entertainment retail veteran David Roche has been appointed CEO of Borders U.K., with effect from March 1.

After 12 years' service as product director with retailer HMV, Roche took a similar role at sister bookseller company Waterstone's in January 2002. He split with Waterstone's in August 2005 to join a consortium whose target was rival books chain Ottakar's. The management buyout ultimately lost out in its takeover bid to Waterstone's parent HMV Group. That deal is currently being probed by U.K. regulator the Competition Commission.

"This appointment strengthens our team in the U.K. and demonstrates our commitment to the further growth of the Borders brand," comments Borders Group International President Rick Vanzura, to whom he reports. "We have established a unique presence in this marketplace over the past eight years and we look forward to continuing to move forward under David's leadership."

Philip Downer, until recently MD of Borders U.K., becomes retail director with responsibility for operations and property, reporting to Roche.