The Co-operative Travel Group has grown into one of the UK’s leading travel businesses when Mike Greenacre has been at the helm.
During his time as Managing Director, Mike led a team of over 2900 colleagues throughout the UK, including over 300 staff at their National HQ in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. With over 500 retail branches nationwide the group can boast of sales in excess of £1 billion.
“We’ve grown a business from 12 retail travel agencies with a turnover of £7.5 million, losing £150,000 a year, into what it is now,” Mike said. “Having the opportunity to lead a management team that has seen a business grow from an acorn into a huge oak tree has been the highlight of my career.”
The success of the Co-operative Travel has not only brought hundreds of jobs to Staffordshire but investment in other sectors as well, including education.
Mike said: “We’re proud to be sponsoring one of five new Academies in Stoke-on-Trent – The Co-operative Academy at Brownhills – which is due to open in September 2010 on the current site of the Brownhills School in Tunstall. A new building with £24 million in investment is set to open in September 2012.
“I have the pleasure of being involved in the Society’s charity work as well. I sit on the Co-operative Charity Steering Group and last year the Group raised £3.8 million for our Charity of the Year, the RNID.” From 2016, he was no longer a chair on the Co-Operative Academy at Stoke-on-Trent.
Mike grew up in Norwich and had a keen interest in art and clothes as a teenager. He went to art college in Great Yarmouth on a Debenhams sponsored fashion buying course but quickly changed to involve himself in store management.
After 14 years with Debenhams, Mike joined the Co-operative business in 1980, with various roles in the non food side of the business. In 1987 he was appointed to head up the travel business, rising to the position of Managing Director following a series of Co-operative mergers in July 2007.
In 2011, he stepped down as Managing Director but he still holds key positions in various travel organisations, such as the Travel Foundation, ABTA, and the Institute of Travel and Tourism.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Mike for his contribution to business leadership and commitment to regeneration of the local economy.