Mike Greenacre (b. 1948) was the Managing Director of The Co-operative Travel Group and played a pivotal role in its expansion to become the UK’s largest travel retailer.
Mike grew up in Norwich and originally trained as a fashion buyer with Debenhams but soon moved into store management. After a successful spell in various stores throughout the UK, he joined Norwest Co-op in 1980 as Store Director of their flagship department store in Stockport. In 1987, he was appointed General Manager for United Co-op’s Travel Division which consisted of 16 branches mainly located round the Potteries. By 1995, following a number of mergers and acquisitions, there were now some 80 plus stores. In 1996 and early 1997 Mike worked to create Future Travel Limited. He was also involved in the 2003 creation of the Co-operative Travel Trading Group (CTTG) and served as its Chief Operating Officer.
Mike continued to grow the Travel Group business, acquiring the large call centre business of Apollo, the specialist cruise business Barrow Travel and a number of small regional travel agency groups. He was heavily involved in pioneering the joint venture with First Choice to develop the Holiday Hypermarket chain. Under Mike’s management, the two largest Co-operatives merged in 2007, with the Travel Group announcing pre-tax profits of more than £13m in 2009 as a result of nearly 3 million passengers choosing Co-operative Travel to book their holidays or travel arrangements. Mike was also instrumental in the creation of The Freedom Travel Group, and a new business travel division, Co-operative Travel Management, which became a sector top 10 business.
Mike was Managing Director from 2007 until 2011, when he retired. He was elected to the ABTA Board as a Director in 2007, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Travel and Tourism and a member of the Institute of Directors.
He was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2009.