Boots Opticians director of professional services retires after 32 years

Eddie Watson has been succeeded by former superintendent optometrist at Asda Opticians, Claire Slade

Claire Slade

Boots Opticians has appointed a new director of professional services following the retirement of Eddie Watson, who spent 32 years with the company.

Claire Slade (pictured) has taken on Mr Watson’s role, joining from Asda Opticians where she held the position of superintendent optometrist.

Managing director of Boots Opticians, Jonathan Gardner, said: “Eddie has been a fantastic part of my leadership team and he will be hugely missed by us all. We’d like to wish him all the very best for the future and a very well-deserved, long, healthy and happy retirement.”

Mr Watson qualified as an optometrist in 1982 and started his career with Boots Opticians in 1985, managing practices across Scotland. Over the last 10 years he has held roles such as divisional opticians manager for the north division and since 2013, director of professional services.

His replacement, Ms Slade, qualified from Cardiff University in 1996 and completed her pre-reg training with Boots Opticians in 1997.

In 2000, she joined Asda Opticians as an optometrist and held the role of superintendent optometrist from 2002 to December 2017.

During this time, she has been a councillor at the College of Optometrists, as well as serving on the General Optical Council’s registrations and companies committee and is currently vice chair of the Federation of Dispensing Opticians.

Speaking about her appointment, Ms Slade said: “I am delighted to be returning to Boots Opticians which has a brilliant heritage, and an ongoing commitment to looking after its colleagues and providing the very best healthcare for its patients.

“It’s an exciting time for our profession with new opportunities emerging to provide a broader range of eye care services to better meet the needs of people in the UK. I’m excited to be joining Boots Opticians to develop and lead on this new journey.”