PPA chief executive Barry McIlheney steps down after decade in role

Successor to be appointed in time for PPA Festival in April.

McIlheney: pursuing non-executive and writing career
McIlheney: pursuing non-executive and writing career

Barry McIlheney, chief executive of the PPA, is stepping down after 10 years in the role, but will retain links with the industry body.

The PPA said that McIlheney – a former consumer magazine editor and publisher – will take up a part-time consultancy position at the organisation. McIlheney will also pursue his non-executive career and writing career.

Meanwhile, the PPA said a new chief executive will be "appointed shortly" and is expected to be in place for the annual PPA Festival, which takes place in London on 30 April.

Before joining the trade body in 2010, McIlheney spent 20 years at Emap as editor of Smash Hits and Empire and publisher of titles including Q, Elle and The Face. He was also chief executive and editorial director at a number of Emap divisions.

Last year, McIlheney was handed a lifetime achievement award from Magazines Ireland, recognising his contribution to the magazine industry. He was also recently appointed non-executive director of Ipso, the independent body for press regulation.

McIlheney said: "It has been a wonderful ride, but now is the right time for a change for both me and the PPA. My 10th anniversary seems like the perfect time to step back to a more supportive role here and also to do all the other things I still want to do while I can."

Tom Bureau, PPA chairman and chief executive of Immediate Media, added: "Over the past 10 years, Barry has been an outstanding CEO. Membership and commercial partners have grown, he has developed the team, events and association profile. I am delighted that Barry will continue to share his expertise and knowledge.

"We have now begun the search for a new leader of the PPA to help support the industry and set a new agenda for professional publishers around shared opportunities and challenges."

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