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July 04, 2023

#269: Mike Welch – CEO @

Podcast Details

Mike Welch is a truly inspiring leader.

Dr Michael Welch OBE founded, the world’s first click-to-fit online tyre retailer in 2002, selling the business to Michelin in 2015.

Prior to, Michael started his career in the tyre business aged 15 in Liverpool, England, as a tyre installer with a local independent tyre dealer. He started his first online tyre business two years later, in 1995, after being made redundant. He subsequently sold that business to UK fast-fit chain Kwik Fit, where he was hired as the group’s first head of e-commerce in the lead-up to Ford’s £1 billion acquisition in 1999. In this role, he spent a few years between the UK and the US assisting the Ford group with their e-commerce execution.

In 2016, during a brief period out of the tyre industry, he founded and chaired fashion retail startup, a global network of fashion boutiques.

In 2019, Michael turned his attention to the US tyre market with his new venture, The website serves as a platform for brick-and-mortar tyre retailers who are looking to compete with pure players for a share of the US online market. With an initial launch in Florida in 2019, has gone on to build a national network showcasing the very best of brick-and-mortar retail stores and mobile installation vans across the United States. The US tyre replacement market was valued at $42bn (USD) in 2019.

In 2021, Tirescanner merged with to create one of America’s largest online tyre retailers, with over 11,000 installers across the USA. Bringing Tirescanner’s strategy and expertise together with TireBuyer’s scale, the aim of the merger is to create the country’s leading online tyre experience.

Michael established The Welch Trust in 2015 focusing on supporting children and young people in need of adoption and fostering, as a fostered and adopted person himself, as well as kids with critical and terminal illnesses. The Trust recently built its first ‘The Welch Learning Centre’, a school computer and library service for children in Bali, Indonesia. In May 2021, The Welch Trust partnered with the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and NHS Lothian to bring MRI-guided Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) to Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP). This was the first time this laser technology was made available in Scotland. Michael also sits on the board and is a Patron of The Prince’s Trust, the principal charity of HM the King.

Michael was awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) by the HM Queen Elizabeth ll in 2016 for services to business and charity. He also received an honorary doctorate in Enterprise from Edinburgh’s Napier University.


About Tirebuyer

At Tirebuyer our aim is to deliver the world’s best tire buying experience, underpinned by world class customer support. We’ve created an easy to navigate marketplace, coupled with an end-to-end concierge service, for the installation of your new tires.

Tirebuyer simplifies tire shopping, provides quick and convenient tire installation with our local or mobile installation partners, offers fast and free shipping, and removes the guesswork on cost through guaranteed upfront payment.

In 2021, Tirescanner merged with Tirebuyer to create an even better website with incredible customer support. We have a nationwide network of 11,000 mobile and in-store installation partners, all pre-qualified by our team. Your tires can be delivered fast and free to one of these tire shops – in some cases the same day you order.

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