IoG new man faces Saltex pull-out

IoG’s new chief executive to face crisis over top exhibitor

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) has rushed through the appointment of its new chief executive Geoff Webb, who starts on 7 November. Webb walks straight into a crisis over IoG Saltex’s biggest exhibitor, Ransomes Jacobsen, which has formally pulled out of the show for 2006 though it will show in 2007. The Ipswich-based company is likely to also miss 2007’s BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition in Harrogate. HW understands at least 20 other firms are likely to go to each show on alternate years (HW, 8 September). Ransomes managing director David Withers said Webb would be good for the IoG because he “would see the commercial side of things as well as the members”. “The alternate strategy gives us one UK show a year,” he said, but whether the IoG and BIGGA amalgamate the shows is “up to them”. IoG marketing manager Siobhan Walker said the earlier-than-expected appointment was a result of a shorter-than-expected notice period. She added: “Even though he is not a groundsman, he is really involved in the areas the IoG would like to be involved in to a greater extent. We hope he will have an idea how to fund the IoG.” She said the IoG is committed to Saltex being an annual show.

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