The Director and Chief Executive of London Transport Museum has announced he will step down from the role later this year.
Sam Mullins OBE, who first joined the museum in 1994, is to leave the role on the appointment of a successor, tasked with leading the Museum’s new five-year strategy.
After his departure the Museum said Mullins will continue his career as a historian, writer and presenter, mentor and consultant, and will complete the first history of Transport for London.
Mullins’ 28-year career at the Museum has seen visitor numbers grow from 180,000 to around 400,000 per year, and includes the museum’s £22 million redevelopment in 2007.
In 1999 he created the first publicly accessible museum store in the UK at Acton Depot.
In 2008, he led London Transport Museum’s transition to charity governance, and has initiated programmes which include volunteering opportunities to engage visitors and help preserve the Museum’s collection, interactive STEM workshops and skills and employability support for young people. In the same year, he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for his contribution to the London Transport Museum.
More recently, he guided London Transport Museum through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and its successful reopening post-pandemic which brought with it new displays and exhibitions.
Mullins called his time at the museum “the most rewarding of my professional career as a leader and historian working in museums.
On his museum colleagues, he added: “Their commitment to the organisation is evident to everyone who visits our Museum, participates in an educational session, takes a Depot or Hidden London tour or uses the website. For a historian like me, being associated with TfL and seeing history being made every day is a huge privilege.”
Andy Lord, Commissioner, Transport for London said of Mullins: “Not only has Sam shaped London Transport Museum into an award-winning visitor attraction, he has also established it as a charity that reaches beyond its walls to benefit children and young people across the capital and beyond.
Keith Ludeman, Chair of Trustees, London Transport Museum added: “His inspirational leadership was most evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, from which the Museum emerged even more strongly, recovering more quickly than any other London museum. On behalf of the board of trustees, I wish him a long, happy and healthy future, and thank him warmly for his long stewardship of this precious institution.”
Mullins is serving on the judging panel of this year’s Museums + Heritage Awards, which this week announced its shortlist ahead of a ceremony in May.