AOP appoints new chief executive

Adam Sampson will join the Association of Optometrists from 14 June

Adam Sampson

The Board of the Association of Optometrists (AOP) has named Adam Sampson as the membership organisations’ new chief executive.

Sampson will succeed Henrietta Alderman, who announced plans to retire earlier this year, and will step down in June having been in the post since 2013.

As the new chief executive, Sampson will join the AOP on 14 June from his most recent role as chief executive of St Elizabeth’s Hospice, where he has led its transformation.

Previously, Sampson held roles as chief executive of the charity, Shelter, and as the inaugural CEO of the Legal Ombudsman, involved in establishing and shaping the organisation until 2015.

Mike George, AOP chairman, commented: “Adam has a strong background in leading organisations at the vanguard of social change and public policy.”

Sampson has also had experience of the optical profession, having previously held an interim position as CEO of the General Optical Council (GOC), which George suggests means he has “gained insight into the complex landscape of optometry and dispensing optics.”

“The fact that this role demands an external focus and the ability to navigate across a complex stakeholder landscape in a changing sector really appeals to him, and we believe his experience in this area is ideal for the role of chief executive at the AOP,” George continued.

Commenting on his new role, Sampson said: “As I know from my time at the GOC, optometrists play a critical role in maintaining the nation’s eye health.

“The AOP is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists and I look forward to leading the association in its vitally important mission of helping to shape the future of the optical profession.”

Recognising the work of the outgoing chief executive, George commented: “I would like to thank Henrietta Alderman for her outstanding contribution to the AOP. We wish her the very best for her retirement.”