Michaela Pennington is the new CEO of Life Leisure as Malcolm McPhail steps down
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Michaela Pennington is the new CEO of Life Leisure as Malcolm McPhail steps down

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Malcolm McPhail, group CEO of social enterprise Life Leisure, has stepped down from the role after 14 years.

An industry veteran with more than 35 years’ experience in the industry, McPhail has been replaced by current operations director, Michaela Pennington.

Pennington said: “I've had the privilege of working with Malcolm for the past 20 years and I am grateful for his knowledge, experience and generous support over this long period. With this new change, I am extremely proud and excited to take the baton from him.

“This is the start of our new journey," she said, "one that begins in the middle of a global pandemic, which has posed significant challenges to the leisure sector and society as a whole, but one we’ll overcome with our usual grit, determination and innovation."

During his time as CEO, McPhail oversaw the expansion of Life Leisure – a trust first set up in 2002 to provide leisure and recreation facilities and services in Stockport.

McPhail's tenure saw Life Leisure acquire Stockport Sports Village and expand its operations into Cumbria.

“After 14 successful years, I have taken the decision to leave Life Leisure to pursue new opportunities," he said.

"This has been one of the hardest decisions of my professional career, but feel now is the right time for Life Leisure to flourish with a new leadership team in place."

Life Leisure, like most other operators, has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Undertaking a phased reopening programme, the trust decided to keep most of its centres closed until late August.

McPhail said: “The last few months have been challenging, but I know that with Life Leisure’s great people and positive attitude, the organisation will continue to thrive and deliver a great result for the communities it serves."

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Malcolm McPhail, group CEO of social enterprise Life Leisure, has stepped down from the role after 14 years. An industry veteran with more than 35 years’ experience in the industry, McPhail has been replaced by current operations director, Michaela Pennington.
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