Elsevier and Reed Exhibitions owner RELX has appointed former Sage PLC c.e.o. Paul Walker as chair to succeed Sir Anthony Habgood .
Walker is expected to take up his new role in the first half of 2021, when Habgood stands down after 11 years in the role.
Alongside being chair of Ashtead Group, Walker is also chair of Halma, which said he would be stepping down from that role by July 2021.
Walker was c.e.o of Sage from 1994 to 2010 after starting his career at Ernst & Young. He has also been chair of Perform Group and Wandisco.
Wolfhart Hauser, RELX senior independent director, said: “Paul has a strong record of value creation as a FTSE100 chair and chief executive, has a deep understanding of corporate governance, and brings extensive international experience in sectors relevant to RELX’s business. We are pleased to welcome Paul to RELX. I would like to thank Sir Anthony for his exemplary leadership as chair for more than 10 years during which RELX has been transformed and its share price more than tripled.”
Walker added: “I am delighted to be joining RELX. The company’s historical transition from print to digital reference and now to information-based analytics and decision tools has been hugely successful. The group is renowned for the calibre of its management and its use of technology as well as its governance, business performance and financial strength. I look forward to taking up the role of chair next year.”
In its recent half-year results, RELX saw a 10% fall in revenue and 24% decline in adjusted operating profit in the six months to end June 2020 as the Covid-19 crisis hit its exhibitions business in particular.