Welcome Mike, U.K. Associate country director
Hi Mike! Welcome to Simacan. You are officially our first 'Simacanner' from outside The Netherlands, we are happy to have you on the team. Could you tell us something about yourself and your previous working life?
I am a career retailer. I started work when I was 16 years old - for Tesco in 1987, working on the checkouts. I wanted to be a store manager and I became one at the age of 22. I went on to running ten different stores across the UK, small to large stores. In fact in 2010 I was store manager of Tesco flagship number 1 store in the UK outside London - sales of £3m per week.
I have two older children, Natalie (30) and Thomas (27). One works for Tesco and one for Morrisons. My wife and I live now on the shores of lake Windermere with our boat! I love watching tennis, F1, rugby and sailing. I'm a big fan of all of this.
I worked for Tesco for 30 years and got the opportunity to work internationally and lived in Poland and Turkey for a few years. I got promoted many times with Tesco and eventually became a stores and logistics director working across the whole of the UK. I left Tesco in 2015 after a radical leadership re structure and took some time out.
I then got the opportunity to run a small private business which operated in 10 countries helping the owner improve his operations and profits; it was great as I got to work in Mexico, the US, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and other places. I did this for a year before returning to retail and I joined Morrisons in 2016 as a regional manager looking after stores. I then moved back into logistics, but in central operations supporting the distribution teams to improve and changing the network. I left Morrisons in 2019 and got offered a job in a university leading their management development unit - then the pandemic hit and the world was cancelled... so I set up my own management consultancy and did a bit of work with René Bruijne on the UK market; and here I am!
Well, we are glad you and René met then. What was your first impression of Simacan and what will your job be?
My first impression of Simacan is what a load of very passionate and engaged colleagues you have, its a breath of fresh air. As U.K. Associate country director, I'm going to help Simacan break into the UK market, that's my job. I'm a little different right now as I am a consultant, not an employee, but all is good and I look forward to the challenge!