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Dec 2023

12 People of Waterstons – Michael Stirrup

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Waterstons gave to me, the chief executive.


Michael has been CEO of Waterstons since 2021, after joining the business in 2016 in the finance team. Now, his responsibility is to point the company in the direction of a long term vision, and making sure our people have everything they need to get us there.

We find out more about him…

“After studying the strange combination of French and Accounting, I actually put my degree to good use by becoming a French accountant for Procter & Gamble before moving to a global chemical company, where I qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. During both those roles I gained a keen interest for business systems; helping implement SAP and JD Edwards along the way. This led me to Waterstons, where I became the internal accountant, and also worked helping some of our clients with their ERP systems. I worked my way up to become our FD before ultimately becoming CEO.

“I am constantly in awe of the expertise and skills that our people have, and seeing how they apply that to our work with clients and internally. Seeing someone come into Waterstons and watching them develop their confidence, skills and career is absolutely the most satisfying part of my role.

“Our purpose is so important – it’s what really matters and truly excited our people. As a former accountant, it’s easy to get caught up with financial targets, figures and graphs, but getting that purpose right, and seeing our team live it day in and day out really motivates everyone to deliver. That’s how we see results, not talking about numbers and money – that gets very boring very quickly.

“It’s what everyone is talking about at the moment, but generative AI is going to be an interesting one to watch in 2024. It’s currently at the top of the hype curve in terms of inflated expectations, so the only way is down – but what does down mean? We’ll look to apply it to our clients’ real business problems more than ever, rather than using it as something fun to play with!”


In case you wanted to know, Michael’s high jump PB is 1.85m, however we’re unable to confirm when this was set.


If you want to chat to Michael about his career or the wider Waterstons business, get in touch at