Gilbertson, who was appointed chief executive of Informa last year, has held senior positions with Reuters, Reed Elsevier and LLP Group -- the publisher of the Lloyds List shipping newspaper.
He will take over on March 20 from Carter, who has been chief executive of Emap's B2B division for 11 years. It is not clear whether Carter has another job lined up to go to.
At Informa, the chief executive role will revert to chairman Peter Rigby, with the senior independent director Derek Mapp taking the non-executive chairman role.
Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners, the team set up to complete their £1.3bn acquisition of the Broadcast and Construction News owning publisher this week, hailed Gilbertson's experience.
Irina Hemmers, a partner at Apax, said: "David has an excellent track record of growing information businesses both organically and through strategic acquisitions, and we are delighted that he has chosen to work with us at this exciting time in the evolution of the global B2B market space."
Gilbertson has spent almost 10 years at Informa, which has operations in more than 40 countries. He played a role in its creation through the merger of LLP, of which he was chief executive, and IBC in 1998.
Having joined LLP in 1987 as editor of Lloyd's List, he formed part of the management team that bought LLP from Lloyd's of London in 1995.
Gilbertson said: "Emap already has market-leading brands and positions in major business sectors and I believe these will provide a strong platform for growth both organically and through acquisition over the next few years."