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June 4, 2009
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Cotton steps in as Kennedy steps down




Two major moves within the events industry were announced today as Paul Kennedy MBE, group exhibition director at Reed Travel Exhibitions with responsibility for its successful Meetings and Incentive portfolio of events, quit, while Vanessa Cotton, formerly of ExCeL London, was appointed as non-executive chair.



Paul Kennedy: Shock departure

The appointment of Vanessa Cotton, as the new public face and team leader while a longer term replacement for Kennedy is sought is an inspired move.  Arguably, no one knows that market better, or commands more respect. She’s also a former MPI board member, and seasoned operator from agency, venue, and destination perspectives.

Parting words
Kennedy, who will officially leave in mid-August 2009, commented: “Since joining Reed in November 2004, I have had an exciting, truly dynamic and challenging role in building a top-class team that has created the market-leading portfolio of pan global events for the meetings industry.”

“This started with the re-engineering of EIBTM following its relocation to Barcelona, the launch of GIBTM in Abu Dhabi, the restructuring and re-launch of CIBTM in Beijing, the continuing development of AIME in Melbourne, the ICCA Congress Exhibition and creating the foundation for a successful launch of AIBTM.

“I have decided its now time for a break from the amazingly fast-paced environment involving almost constant overseas travel,” Kennedy continued. “Frankly, I want to take some time out, re-energise and decide what I want to do next.”

Sound advice
At the same time as he was announcing Kennedy’s departure, Richard Mortimore, managing director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, announced Cotton’s appointment as a non-executive chair to the meetings and events portfolio. Mortimore explained she had been brought in to provide support, counsel and advice to the meetings portfolio team and to assist with the process of finding a successor to Paul.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to become involved with Reed Exhibitions, and I look forward to working with the team to ensure that their meetings’ industry events worldwide continue to lead the field,” said Cotton.

Commenting on Cotton’s appointment, Mortimore said: “Vanessa will help provide a smooth transition, as well as an ongoing strategic role for the portfolio and allow us the time to consider Paul’s replacement. Her experience and stature within the meetings industry worldwide will help to maintain our global connections and assist with our review and next steps.




Vanessa Cotton: New face at Reed Exhibitions



The next stage
“I am very sad to see Paul leave us, but after five years in this demanding job he has decided to spend the next stage of his career in part developing other business interests,” he continued.

“Paul has done an outstanding job for us by building a dynamic international team of some 30 plus professionals that has created a global portfolio of leading events in the meetings industry. Paul has considerably strengthened the relationships with industry leading association, such as MPI, SITE, AIPC and ICCA and established a position of close engagement with industry stakeholders, which will continue.”

 

A previous version of this item incorrectly implied reasons for Paul Kennedy's departure from Reed Travel Exhibitions.  MEETINGS:review categorically withdraws any previous comments and apologises for any inaccuracies to all parties involved.


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