London, UK – Sally Shankland, the recently appointed CEO of UBM Americas, will leave the company at the end of June to pursue another opportunity, the company announced today.
Shankland’s replacement was not immediately named. The company said, however, that an “internal appointment” would be made before Shankland’s last day. In the meantime, she will remain on the job, which includes a seat on the Executive Committee and the Advanstar Integration Committee.
Shankland worked in the trade show industry for some 28 years and was named the first CEO of the newly formed UBM Americas division last Fall. She was featured on the cover of Trade Show Executive in April 2015 and was the featured guest for the “Power Lunch” column in the same issue.
Shankland broke into the industry with Miller Freeman in 1988 and joined CMP Healthcare Media in 1996. She moved to UBM in 2007 as CEO of UBM Medica and was named CEO of UBM Connect in 2012. Along the way, she served as a member of the board of directors of the Society of Independent Show Organizers.
In the May 22 announcement, Shankland did not disclose her future plans, but said the decision to step down had not been taken lightly. “However after 28 years, I feel I am ready for a new challenge – at a new company and in a new industry,” she said.
UBM Americas was formed through the consolidation of UBM’s operations in South America and North America. Specifically, the UBM Brazil unit was joined with UBM Tech and UBM Connect. Shankland, who had been CEO of UBM Connect, was promoted to the top position.
Her brief tenure at UBM Americas was an eventful one as the London-based media company reorganized and set course on a strategy emphasizing its ample worldwide trade show and events business.
“She has seen the group transformed from a print-heavy conglomerate into an events-focused media and communications business,” said UBM CEO Tim Cobbold, who joined UBM last year. “Her role in this transformation has been noteworthy, particularly her long tenure as leader of our U.S. medical media assets. I thank her warmly for her contribution and wish her every success in her new role.”
Blockbuster Advanstar Acquisition
The highlight of UBM events’ thrust was the 2014 blockbuster acquisition of Advanstar Communications, Inc., in a deal worth $972 million, and made UBM America the generator of around 40% of the entire company’s revenues.
Fastest 50 Award
The acquisition handed New York-based Shankland one of the largest show organizers in the U.S. and a portfolio led by the huge MAGIC fashion events, which routinely appear on the TSE Gold 100 and Fastest 50 rankings. In fact, MAGIC received the TSE Fastest 50 Grand Award two days ago as the show with “The Fastest Growth in Exhibiting Companies [in Sheer Numbers],” growing by 1,147 companies from 2013 to 2014.
In her Power Lunch interview, Shankland told TSE’s Danica Tormohlen that the integration of Advanstar, headquartered in California, into UBM was a marriage of like minds: “A public company culture is often very different from the private company culture. But, in general, I have found a huge amount of alignment in terms of how we think about business and how we approach business.”
Advanstar has since become UBM Advanstar. Veteran CEO Joe Loggia remains with the company as the transition continues. He previously announced he would likely leave the company in the second half of 2015, but has not revealed the next step in his career.