top of page

Simon Birkenhead

Simon Birkenhead is a chief executive with 28 years experience building businesses and driving commercial success through online marketing and e-commerce. He has worked in organisations from the very largest global corporations through to early stage technology start-ups.

Educated at Cambridge University and London Business School, Simon is a former global business leader at Google, where he led teams across four continents. He has also held business leadership positions at 3M, Telefónica and Gartner. Since becoming a CEO he has run a number of global businesses out of the UK and New Zealand. He is currently Chief Executive of HQ Travel Group, one of the world’s leading providers of impact, adventure and educational travel. 

He is author of Managing People, a Penguin Business Experts series book.

Simon Birkenhead | CEO Author Photographer

Find Simon Birkenhead on:

Managing People | Book by Simon Birkenhead

Become The Manager Your Employees Want You To Be

60% of managers have never had any training on how to be effective at getting the best performance from their team. Managing People is a practical manual for any first-time manager or established supervisor who wants to succeed in their role - but isn't sure how to. My five-step framework explains the core principles and best practices every manager should adopt for their employees to be happy, productive and effective in their roles - and how to avoid the common mistakes that will demoralise their team, create stress, and destroy organisation culture. Available now as part of the Penguin Business Experts series in paperback and ebook from all major book retailers.


Simon Birkenhead is Chief Executive of

HQ Travel Group Logo - Navy.png

HQ Travel Group is a leading global provider of impact, adventure & educational travel. We offer the world’s largest portfolio of volunteer abroad and international internship travel programs, each with a focus on driving positive social, environmental & personal transformation.

HQT operates two market leading brands:


Launched in 2007, IVHQ has been named the world's #1 rated volunteer abroad organisation in each of the last 5 years. With the world’s largest portfolio of volunteer abroad programs across 43 countries, IVHQ facilitates life-enriching travel experiences for volunteers from over 100 countries that enable them to give back to causes they care about, while exploring the amazing world around us. To date it has empowered over 130,000 volunteers to make a difference abroad. For more info, visit

Intern Abroad HQ logo

Intern Abroad HQ: Launched in 2017, Intern Abroad HQ was named the #1 rated international internships provider in 2022. It enables students and young professionals from all walks of life to advance their dream career through meaningful international work experience. With over 220 internship programs across 22 countries, Intern Abroad HQ facilitates both in-country and remote applied learning that deepens expertise, enhances cultural intelligence, and accelerates professional development. For more info, visit

Simon Birkenhead | Photography Gallery

Photographs from Simon's 40 years as a photographer

Photography Gallery
bottom of page