Last Updated: Monday, 04 March 2013
The Chairman and Chief Executive of one of Europe’s leading gaming companies, the Rank Group plc, is to be honoured at a Birmingham City University graduation ceremony tomorrow in recognition of his outstanding business achievements and his long-standing support for the University.
Ian Burke’s impressive CV spans more than 30 years and includes some of the biggest household names in the UK. After graduating from Imperial College in Mathematics, Ian began work as a trainee at Lever Brothers, before moving to Esso and then to Bass. He held a number of roles at Bass before being appointed as Chief Executive of Thistle Hotels in 1998 and then Chief Executive of the Holmes Place Group in 2003.
Since joining Rank plc, Ian has led the re-positioning of the company as it has become a focused gaming entertainment company with leading brands including Mecca and Grosvenor Casinos.
Meeting customers' expectations
Ian’s expertise in customer insight has allowed him to meet and exceed customers’ expectations and he has been instrumental in ensuring Rank has kept abreast of technology with all brands now accessible via retail, online and mobile. He takes the company’s corporate social responsibilities very seriously, with Rank being recognised as having the most responsible gaming programme in the industry. In addition, Ian chairs the company’s Environmental Committee and is also passionate about supporting local communities, encouraging colleagues to raise over £1 million for Marie Curie.
Ian founded the first ‘Leaders in Leisure’ postgraduate course in the UK in conjunction with Birmingham City Business School, since which time he has been a Visiting Professor taking an active part on the School’s Advisory Board.
Ian will be receiving his honorary doctorate at the graduation ceremony at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Tuesday 5th March.