John Sharkey will depart as executive vice-president in Europe at venue and event management company ASM Global, it has been announced.

Sharkey will leave ASM in December to pursue new career options. He joined the company in September 2014 and has been responsible for existing business operations in Europe, as well as spearheading business development ambitions for the group in Europe and Asia.

Prior to ASM, Sharkey spent nearly 12 years at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, initially as finance director and then CEO from May 2008 to April 2014. Between leaving SECC and joining ASM in September 2014, Sharkey served as an advisor to the exhibition, conference and entertainment sector, and related infrastructure projects.

Sharkey said: “Over the last seven years, I have been lucky to work with some of the finest people in the business with such tremendous passion and energy for our industry. I have also been incredibly proud to work for a business which stands for the best in gold standard venue management. 

“For these reasons, it was a really tough decision to leave the business. However, the events of the last year have been profound across the world and the pandemic has caused me to reflect and decide on a change of direction in my career.” 

Ron Bension, ASM global president and CEO, added: “John has been leading the European business for nearly seven years and during that time has been the driving force behind many of the business’s successes – from delivering venues in Aberdeen and Hull to integrating the acquisition of our in-house catering business CGC and overseeing the significant progress of the Kai Tak project in Hong Kong.

“John will leave the business in December but before that time, he will be instrumental in leading the teams as we get ready to re-open and bring guests back into our venues. I wish John the very best in the next chapter in his life and would like to thank him for the commitment and dedication to the business over the years. 

“We have recently commenced a search for a new European lead who will be responsible for leading the European business and delivering a number of exciting venue projects including Wolverhampton, Derby and Cantu in Italy with a number of others in the pipeline.”

The announcement of Sharkey’s departure continues a busy news week for ASM Global. The company further broadened its UK venue portfolio by being awarded a contract to manage and operate the aforementioned new arena planned for Derby.

St James Securities, developers of the £200m (€231.6m/$283.2m) Becketwell regeneration scheme where the venue will be located, and Derby City Council announced that ASM Global has been awarded preferred bidder status to manage, operate and programme the new entertainment and conference venue.

ASM Global also signed a new multi-year agreement with US wireless infrastructure firm Mobilitie, through which it will deploy 5G connectivity solutions across its international venue portfolio.

Image: ASM Global