London, UK – UBM plc stepped outside the trade show industry and selected manufacturing executive Tim Cobbold to replace outgoing David Levin as CEO of the international show organizer.
Cobbold will assume his new job May 6. Levin steps down March 1 to become president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education.
Board chair Dame Helen Alexander will act as interim CEO until Cobbold takes over and with then revert back to her sole role as chair once Cobbold takes over. She said Cobbold was selected from a “very strong field” of candidates.
“Tim has successfully led highly international, operationally complex businesses; the board is confident that his track record ideally qualifies him to continue the development of UBM as a focused, international events-led marketing communications business,” she said.
Cobbold, 51, joins UBM from De La Rue plc, a British commercial printing company that specializes in bank notes and similar paper products. He was chief executive of the company since 2011. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Chloride Group, which produces industrial power-supply equipment. He also held various executive positions with Smith Group, an engineering company that produces airport bomb scanners and equipment for the medical sector.
“I’m delighted to be joining UBM; it’s an exciting, dynamic international business,” Cobbold said. “As a market leader in both the global events and the news and digital content marketing industries, it has significant growth potential.”
In an interview with Britain’s Financial Times, Cobbold indicated he felt at home navigating the global territory that UBM has staked out. “It (UBM) is a bigger business, and it’s very international, which I love,” he said. “I think some of the things that probably need to be happening at UBM play to my strengths.”
Levin led a fast-paced overseas expansion of UBM’s trade show business in his nine years at the helm. He also orchestrated a shift in the company’s focus from print publications to trade shows and online events.