LONDON – Charlie McCurdy, the CEO of Informa Markets, is poised to take on a new leadership role as Strategic Advisor to the Informa Group beginning January 2023. McCurdy will remain CEO through the rest of the year before handing the reins to Patrick Martell, current CEO of Informa Intelligence and COO of Informa Group. Martell will assume the role of Informa Markets CEO while continuing in his role as Group COO.
McCurdy is a renowned leader in the trade show industry, having spent 35 years leading B2B events and media businesses, including the last seven as CEO of Informa Markets. As Strategic Advisor, he will continue to support the development of Informa Markets’ digital and data services, as well as provide broader input and support on key partnership relationships and future growth opportunities, through the period of Informa’s 2021-2024 Growth Acceleration Plan II.
“When I joined Informa Markets seven years ago, I had confidence that we could transform the business from a great regional exhibitions business to a world-leading one. I truly believe that we have done that and more, transforming from a world-leading exhibitions business to a true global market-access provider. We are delivering greater value for our customers on and off the show floor, and the business is in a fantastic position, with so much opportunity on the horizon,” McCurdy said.
During his time as CEO, McCurdy has overseen Informa Markets through the company’s acquisition of Penton Information Services, the Yachting Promotions Inc. boat show business, and the landmark UBM acquisition. He also led Informa Markets through the pandemic, helping to identify new digital solutions and emerging data opportunities while building the exhibitions business back to strength throughout 2021 and into 2022.
“My time leading the Informa Markets business has been second to none, but I am ready to try a new approach and really pleased that I am able to do that here at Informa; continuing to work with the amazing teams and talent that make up this community, and engaged in the projects and opportunities that will continue to make this a best-in-class business,” McCurdy said. “I am also truly pleased that I am handing the CEO role over to Patrick Martell, another member of the Informa community and one of its most experienced and effective leaders.”
In an interview about his new strategic advisor role, McCurdy shared how he is looking forward to putting more life in the work-life balance. “I am looking forward to connecting with my wonderful family in ways I haven’t been able to,” he said.
The time and commitment needed to transform a $200 million business that McCurdy took on as CEO and grow it to $2 billion is unimaginable. He shared with TSE some of the successes he has achieved as CEO that he is most proud of.
“We were able to put together a global exhibitions business that now has a very substantial role in a dozen or so global commercial verticals. The team that has come together through this process is exceptional. And most recently, I am really proud of the shift from being a market access provider,” he said. “We help suppliers find the right buyer relationships, and buyers find the right supplier relationships on and off the show floor through exhibitions, digital solutions and the use of data. This all rounds out our role as a company that helps make commercial markets function more effectively.”
In a heartfelt note to his colleagues, McCurdy shared this news outlining the successes the company has achieved with him at the helm. In addition, he touched upon the unprecedented challenges the trade show industry has faced over the past two years.
“We faced the pandemic together head-on. I have never been prouder of the resilience and adaptability of our colleagues. You pulled through for one another and for your customers, and learned and innovated and kept your communities connected,” he wrote.
The future of conventions, trade shows, and B2B events is integrated, and he continued in his letter: “Today, we are transforming from a world leader in live events into a true global market-access provider. We’re leading the way in Smart Events, using data and technology to advance the value for our customers on and off the show floor, and delivering a growing range of digital services that help us do more for our customers and for our own business at the pace of the marketplace.”
Trade Show Executive had the opportunity to sit down with McCurdy, after the World of Concrete paved the way for other large-scale trade shows to come back, to talk about his more than 35 years of experience in the industry. Click here to read.
Martell Takes Over as CEO on January 1
Martell becomes CEO of Informa Markets on Jan. 1, 2023. He joined Informa in 2014 and was closely involved in the integration of Penton Information Services in 2016. He also has deep experience and success in embedding effective data discipline and investing in digital product development from his time leading Informa Intelligence.
McCurdy has worked with Martell closely for the past seven years. “We worked arm-in-arm through the Penton and UBM acquisitions and integrations. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as an effective and pragmatic executive. The way he has grown the Intelligence business speaks volumes as to what an effective leader he is,” McCurdy said.
“I am greatly looking forward to the opportunity to lead Informa Markets from 2023. Informa Markets has a leadership team with unparalleled experience in their markets. The business is nearly back to full strength on in-person events and rapidly expanding what it offers customers in terms of technology, data services and digital marketplaces. I’m looking forward to making the most of all of these opportunities and continuing to deliver exceptional value for the customers and communities Informa Markets serves,” Martell said.