Sir David Arculus, former ExCeL London chair and Mike Rusbridge, former CEO of Reed Exhibitions, have been appointed as non-executive directors of the UK’s NEC Group.
Arculus, who was chair of Clarion Events following its first private equity buyout in 2008, was formerly group MD of Emap and chief operating officer of United News and Media (subsequently UBM). As chair, he led the management buyout and subsequent sale of IPC Media.
A former government advisor, he has held a range of non-executive roles within and outside of the media sector including Barclays Bank and oversaw O2’s £18bn sale to Telefonica during his tenure as chair.
Rusbridge stepped down from the helm at Reed Exhibitions in December 2015 having spearheaded over 150 acquisitions, including that of Miller Freeman in 2000, a deal which positioned Reed as the world’s leading exhibition organiser.
During his time as CEO and chair, the business grew from a US$400m to US$1.5bn company and now organises 500 events in 43 countries across 43 industry sectors, with over seven million participants.
NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi – who oversaw a change of ownership from Birmingham City Council to LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group in 2015 – said: “These appointments bring a wealth of experience to our business during a significant period of growth as we maximise Group opportunities and collaborate on regional development plans with national impact.
“Following a positive period of change, the NEC Group is in a strong position. We have a clear and well established strategy for our future growth and are making strong progress in delivering against that strategy. This injection of knowledge, which cuts across a range of sectors and specialisms including data, media and acquisitions, will help drive our success, particularly from a customer experience perspective.”
The appointments of Arculus and Rusbridge supplement the previous appointment of Peter Phillipson, former Chair of Merlin Entertainments, as NEC Group chair in December 2015.