NEC Group welcomes new boss - The Solihull Observer

NEC Group welcomes new boss

Solihull Editorial 24th Sep, 2023   0

THE NEC Group has welcomed a new top boss.

Melanie Smith is set to take over the reigns as the company’s chief executive.

She succeeds Paul Thandi who moves to the position of chairman after nearly 17 years in the job.

Melanie brings more than 25 years’ experience in executive and operational leadership to the UK’s leading live events business, having successfully delivered performance transformations at leading UK consumer and retail businesses.

Working closely with the NEC Group board and the company’s majority shareholder, Blackstone, Melanie will work to implement the business’ vision to be Europe’s leading live events business across its entire venue portfolio including the NEC and ICC Birmingham, Vox Conference Venue and Birmingham’s two live music arenas – Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Area.

Melanie Smith said: “From our proud base in the Midlands, our vision is to become Europe’s most successful and sustainable live events business – with world class venues and supporting services that ensure unforgettable live experiences for millions of people every year.




“I am excited to lead our next chapter of growth and innovation.”

Previously, Melanie was the chief executive at online grocer and retail company, Ocado Retail, where she oversaw major technology, marketing and supplier transitions.


And she has also held senior positions at Marks & Spencer, Bupa, TalkTalk and McKinsey & Co.

In 2022, she founded the Mokaraka Trust, an initiative funding Māori Women’s business studies with the aim of creating a leading global cohort of Māori women CEOs by 2040.

Alexander Walsh, the senior managing director at Blackstone, said: “We are delighted to welcome Melanie as the new chief executive of the NEC.

“Her proven track record in leading successful businesses and driving transformative change and merger and acquisition initiatives aligns perfectly with our vision for the company’s future.”

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