Michael East (b. 1942) is a leading strategic consultant in the travel and service industries. He advises and represents banks and investment houses on investment strategy in those sectors as well as many of the major UK travel companies on strategic development.
A qualified accountant by profession, Michael joined Clarksons Holidays in 1969 where he held a number of finance related positions before being promoted to Group Financial Director. In 1974 he joined Horizon Holidays, as interim FD, which was the third largest, quoted, UK tour operator. He then moved to Singapore in 1975 where he was the Managing Director of MTM a Singaporean manufacturing company. On returning to the UK in 1980 he joined George Wimpey, the UK house builder which wanted to look at holiday home building opportunities. In 1982 Michael formed Willies East, a leisure travel industry consultancy company to develop in two broad areas, strategic development and senior management recruitment.
In 1986, Michael founded Argyle Executive Recruitment, which today makes more senior level appointments in the travel industry than any other specialist recruitment consultancy. From 1986–1992 he was also the non-executive Chairman of PIPR, a leading PR and representation company specialising in travel and leisure, before the business was sold to Affinity PR. He was Managing Director of Kingley Event Management Solutions and the daily travel newsletter e-tid.com before their sale to the Travel Weekly Group in 2014. He is currently Director of Gisby East.
Michael is a member of the Advisory Committee of Spanish-based insurance group, MAPFRE Assistance which recently purchased InsureandGo. He is a member of the Development Board of The Roundhouse in London, and is a frequent speaker and moderator at travel industry conferences and events.
Michael was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2014.