David Gilbertson is set to step down as chief executive of the magazine group Emap International, which publishes Retail Week and Screen International, after three years.
The company, which is backed by the private-equity investor Apax Partners and Guardian Media Group (GMG), the publisher of The Guardian newspaper, revealed Mr Gilbertson's departure and said succession plans would be announced "in due course". The outgoing chief executive called Emap a "first-class business", and added: "Recession has extended the likely period of private-equity ownership for the business, making this an opportune moment for new leadership to take the company on to its next phase."
The company has struggled during the downturn but sources close to the company said the departure had been mutual and it had not been related to performance. Mr Gilbertson, who joined in March 2008 from Informa, believes the company is on target to return to growth this year.
Irina Hemmers, a partner at Apax, said Mr Gilbertson had led Emap "with distinction" adding: "He leaves the business in good shape and well placed for growth."
Nevertheless, in 2009, Apax wrote down its investment to nothing, while GMG has also taken significant writedowns on the value of its holding.