LONDON – Roger Shashoua, the founder of U.K.-based ITE Group now called Hyve Group pic, has passed away.
The company issued the following statement:
“Roger was a titan of our industry. The pioneering work he did throughout his lifetime not only helped to shape this business and the wider exhibition industry, but also marked some of the first steps towards a more connected world as the 70s presented a turning point for globalization.
As markets began to open, he spotted an opportunity to create a series of businesses in emerging economies, starting with the Middle East in the 70s. In the 80s he was one of the first to expand into China and then, in the early 90s, he founded ITE Group with his brother Roddy, with a focus on Eastern Europe and Russia.
What came next was unprecedented for that time. The years that followed saw ITE go public in 1998 and by that time, had grown from a team of three to more than 850 people in over 10 countries and was organizing more than 85 exhibitions, all crossing new boundaries and connecting the West with markets which were previously inaccessible. His innovations are still the cornerstone of the industry; he pioneered geo-cloning on a global scale and placed an enormous focus on customer experience – he believed that every event was a ‘show.’”
Mark Shashoua, Roger’s son and now Hyve’s CEO, shared:
“His huge appetite for life built him a reputation as a charismatic whirlwind of energy. His greatest strength was his humanity and he had an extraordinary ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He lived his life completely committed to everything he did and with passion, humility and a good dose of humor. He was one of life’s greatest showmen.
Roger leaves behind a legacy that resonates as much now as it did when he started his career. He was a disruptor by nature and never more inspired than when there was uncertainty around him. He recently commented on how COVID-19 would accelerate all forms of disruption and, whilst he said this, the glint in his eyes shone at the opportunities which await the world. His distinctive characteristics of challenging the status quo, ambition and fearlessness will serve us well as we enter yet another ground-breaking new era for the company.”
In 1988, Roger authored his first book, The Paper Millionaire, followed by Dancing with the Bear; A serial entrepreneur goes East in 2007, and in 2012 Roger was presented with the Exhibition News Pioneer Award.
Remembered fondly by many, IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom also paid tribute: “Roger was one of the great pioneers of our industry, who combined the courage to take great risks with the ability and dedication to see difficult projects through. It was this and his engaging personality that made him so successful.”
Reach Mark Shashoua at +44 (0) 20 7596 5017 or mark.shashoua@ite-exhibitions.