The chairman of Reed Exhibitions (RX), an event organizer, will retire at the end of 2015.
Mike Rusbridge joined RX as its CEO Europe in 1988, becoming president of Europe and Asia in 1994 and appointed chairman & CEO in 1996.
Over the years, Rusbridge has spearheaded 150-plus acquisitions. This includes the 1990 acquisition of MIDEM in France, the biggest acquisition in the industry at that date, and the acquisition of Miller Freeman in 2000. These acquisitions positioned Reed Exhibitions as the world’s leading exhibition organizer.
The business is now truly global, having been primarily based in the U.S. and UK. RX’s transformation from a confederation of small local businesses, often entrepreneur led, into an integrated global operation with governmental and commercial relationships has been significant.
“Mike’s achievement at Reed Exhibitions has been outstanding,” said Erik Engstrom, CEO, RELX Group. “Over the two decades he has led the company and built the world’s largest exhibitions business, delivering consistent growth over 20 years. I wish him well for the future.”
During Rusbridge’s tenure, the digital age has had a profound impact on business and customers’ needs within the industry. RX now offers multi-channel opportunities and has moved, through the advanced use of data and digital capabilities, from being a service provider to pro-actively matching buyer and seller together and developing, through its quality brands, strong industry communities.
“I find the events industry as exciting and stimulating today as I first found it 36 years ago! Reed Exhibitions’ achievements have been driven by a great management team and a very talented group of people. I am very proud of what we have created and leave the Company in the extremely capable hands of the CEO, Chet Burchett, who has worked for RX for the past 11 years in the Americas. There is strong continuity of management, and we are now realizing significant advantage from behaving as one company worldwide. RX has a very exciting future as we develop a digitally enabled data driven business, creating powerful business relationships for our customers,” said Rusbridge.
Rusbridge will continue as chairman until December 2015.