The former Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter was named the next chief executive of the publisher and events group Informa yesterday as Peter Rigby announced he is stepping down in December after 25 years at the top.
Mr Rigby has been chief executive or executive chairman continuously since 1988. He joined the company in 1983 and the plc board three years later.
It is thought that Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP since 1986, is the only serving boss who has been at the top of a FTSE 100 company for longer.
Mr Rigby admitted that his resignation at the age of 58 had surprised some colleagues at the group, which publishes the shipping bible Lloyd's List and a string of academic titles. "My view is people shouldn't stay on for the sake of staying on," he said, explaining that he wanted to hand over the company in good shape and spend more time with his family.
Informa's total shareholder return rose 335 per cent during his tenure, against 96 per cent for the FTSE 100. "We've become a digital business from a paper business," Mr Rigby said. He added that he felt Informa had benefited from "having experience at the helm" when the financial crisis struck in 2007.
Lord Carter has been a non-executive director of Informa since 2010, and was most recently a senior executive at the French telecoms firm Alcatel-Lucent. The 49-year-old was ennobled while serving as a business minister for Gordon Brown, and has also run the PR agency Brunswick.