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September 10, 2006

Arise Sir Paul!

Paul Thandi, commercial director of the NEC Group, has been appointed chief executive. He replaces his mentor and friend, Andrew Morris.

The puff of smoke emerged late on Friday evening, and the new genie of the UK's largest live events venue group emerged triumphant after what would have been a highly political campaign, involving keen interests from members of the Birmingham Council and executives from within the Group. It will be viewed throughout the events industry as a triumph for Morris, who brought Thandi to Birmingham as part of his wholesale change to the management landscape. Prior to joining NEC Group, Thandi served his apprenticeship as group managing director of CMP, the exhibitions arm of United News and Media.

Paul Thandi

Thandi will now be faced with the task of winning over the hearts and minds of the industry establishment. The past months will have drawn his attention away from his undoubted commercial support of the NEC, which has casino and exhibition interests firmly in the balance as London and the provinces loiter with interest over the NEC Group's staple diet of live events and a perceived and misplaced belief that Birmingham always deserves. Some quick commercial wins, the swift announcement of his new cabinet, and the political and media performance of Thandi, particularly as the royale of all casino debates hots up, will make for an interesting soap in the run up to Christmas.

It`s a very big job for the undoubtedly talented Thandi, who has already shown impressive poker skills. If he can now translate this appointment into an attractive consolidation of Morris's vision for the venue's future, reinvigorate the appeal of his venues to the corporate marketing and event communities while at the same time fighting against the rising London tide, he will surely win the pin number to the gates of the City of Birmingham, and the event industry`s current account.

Or not.

EVENTS:review will bring its exclusive interview with Paul Thandi, Chief Executive, NEC Group, very shortly.

Click here to view EVENTS:review's recent interview with the outgoing CEO, Andrew Morris.

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