After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in Edinburgh, Michael returned to work in his family’s whisky business, Gordon & MacPhail (G&M) in 1981.
Initially joining as finance director, he spent the last twenty years travelling extensively around the world promoting whiskies bottled by G&M, as well as the company’s own distillery, Benromach, which they purchased and refurbished before reopening it in 1998. Benromach sponsored the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart when it toured the UK and North America.
Michael finally retired from his position as Managing Director in 2014 but still sits on the board of G&M as a non-executive director. A Board Member of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), he chairs their International Business Committees. He sits on the Management Committee of the Keepers of the Quaich (an exclusive international community of people recognised for outstanding commitment to the Scotch Whisky Industry) and the Scottish Committee of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, one of the City of London Livery Companies.
Michael is a Fellow of the RSA, a Fellow of SCDI, and Honorary Fellow of the University of The Highlands & Islands, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, a Freeman of the City of London and a Master of the Quaich.