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Code Ninjas strengthens support team with two new leadership recruits

Kids coding franchise, Code Ninjas, has celebrated a great deal of success in 2022, with location launches up and down the UK. In line with this ongoing rate of growth and to ensure the global network of more than 600 franchisees have access to the best possible standard of support, the brand has appointed two new senior positions.


Barry Gibson joins as new VP of finance and Mike Mercado as VP of operations. With more than 30 years’ combined experience, Barry Gibson and Mike Mercado will bring a new strategy and vision to Code Ninjas’ leadership team.


Barry joins Code Ninjas with more than 16 years of financial experience, having worked both in the UK and the US. His expertise places him as the perfect candidate to support franchisees in strategic decisions linked with finance and general policy.


“Joining Code Ninjas during this time of growth and expansion is an honour,” said Barry. “I look forward to working with the wider team to drive us into 2023 and beyond to deliver success across all locations.”


Mike joins the team with over 15 years of franchise experience, starting with Auntie Anne’s where he served in a regional VP position before launching a licensed delivery company based on a proprietary technology platform that he developed. In 2018, he joined US kids football franchise, Soccer Shots, as the VP of operations where he oversaw curriculum, technology, product development, events, training and franchisee support.


“Joining Code Ninjas brings all the elements of my career together in perfect alignment,” shared Mike. “I’m excited for the opportunity to establish new roots with a brand that inspires kids and parents alike. The team and franchisees have clearly worked hard to develop a fantastic programme and reputation in the communities we serve. I’m thrilled to be part of a community that focuses on teaching kids not only about technology but also important life skills that will stay with them throughout their lives.”


The addition of Barry and Mike to an already elite team of franchise specialists paves the way for the brand’s impressive growth projections in 2023. With hopes to double the UK franchise network within the next 14 months, Barry and Mike will play a key role in bringing this to fruition.


Justin Nihiser, CEO, is excited for what the future will hold with both Barry and Mike in these leadership roles. “From the high-level franchise decisions to the individually unique 600-plus franchisee expectations, both are hitting the ground running to lead us forward more financially disciplined and operationally sound,” explained Justin.

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Barry Gibson and Mike Mercado

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