NORWALK, CT—Chet Burchett, who stepped down last week as U.S. chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, has joined Reed Exhibitions as president of North America. Reed Exhibitions manages more than 430 trade shows worldwide and is a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier Group, an international information services company.
As head of Burson’s largest business unit, Burchett oversaw a staff of more than 600 and led the company through the most difficult industry recession in decades, maintaining strong profitability, a fact BM chief executive Chris Komisarjevsky acknowledged in announcing Burchett’s departure to staff.
“Throughout the past three years—tough years where the economy in the United States has been in a recession—Chet Burchett has put all of his energy and drive into leading and building our business,” said Komisarjevsky. “Even though our revenue in the United States during this tough time has not grown, the entire U.S. leadership team has done an outstanding job in ensuring gold standard client work, building the reputation of our company and in ensuring a healthy margin.”
Burchett has broad experience in strategic plan development for a wide variety of companies and industries including automotive; consumer packaged goods; energy; food and beverages; healthcare; pharmaceuticals; manufacturing; travel and tourism; and professional services, among others. Additionally, he has worked through acquisitions, formed strategic alliances and developed new lines of business and products.
“Given the many parallels and some of the challenges that the exhibition industry has faced in recent years, Burchett’s experience in a similar business-to-business environment will serve him well in this new capacity,” said Mike Rusbridge, chairman of Reed Exhibitions.
Burchett said he was most attracted by an opportunity to join an industry leader with a clear focus on quality and customer value.
“The hallmark of a great organization is its focus on delivering best-in-class service and value, and it’s clear to me that Reed Exhibitions is just such an organization,” he says. “I have enjoyed being part of a global firm that sets the benchmark for quality in the public relations industry, and I am excited about joining a firm that enjoys the same position in the global exhibitions industry.”
Burchett d started his career in journalism before moving into public relations with Edelman Public Relations Worldwide. For the past 5 years he has been with Burson-Marsteller, starting as the president for the Midwest Region and leader of the national marketing practice, then as president and CEO of the USA since 2000.