Adam Sampson has been appointed chief executive at the Association of Optometrists (AOP) after Henrietta Alderman announced her retirement.

Sampson’s most recent role was as chief executive of St Elizabeth’s Hospice and he previously worked at Shelter as chief executive and at the Legal Ombudsman as CEO. He also spent three months as an interim CEO of the General Optical Council.

Mike George, chair of the AOP, said: ‘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 [Sampson] and we believe his experience in this area is ideal for the role of chief executive at the AOP.’

George thanked Alderman, who has been chief executive since 2013, for her ‘outstanding contribution to the AOP’ and wished her the best in her retirement.

Sampson, who will take up the post on June 14, said he knew from his time at the GOC that optometrists played 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,’ he said.