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VMS Live directors exit, new CEO appointed

24 September 2019

A MAJOR shake-up among executives at venue management company VMS Live has seen two directors leave, a new CEO appointed and the wife of the company’s late founder Steve Forster appointed to the board in a non-executive role.

Richard Maides and Carl Bathgate have stepped down as directors, although remain shareholders, while Bert Van Horck, a veteran of the events industry, has been appointed CEO.

Forster died two weeks after a serious car crash in April (see LIVE UK issue 232).

Under Forster’s management, VMS Live won contracts to manage and/or exclusively promote venues such as Liverpool’s Eventim Olympia (2,000) and the University of East Anglia’s LCR (1,550), as well as acquiring Hull Box Office, which sells over 80,000 tickets a year.

“VMS Live is in a great space in this dynamic sector and I am very much looking to working with the new team to build on the incredible foundations Steve Forster, Richard Maides and Carl Bathgate have put in place,” says Van Horck.

“We’d also like to give special thanks to Richard and Carl who led the company over this difficult recent period. Both have now resigned following a transfer of their duties.”

Former operations director Maides tell LIVE UK, “Following negotiations with Steve Forster’s estate, myself and Carl [who was commercial director] were unfortunately unable to come to an accord in relation to the future direction of the company.

“Carl and I collectively worked as directors and owners of VMS Live for over 13 years and are proud of what all of our team achieved together during that time. We remain shareholders in the business and wish it continued success.”

The pair say they intend to continue working together and an announcement regarding future projects will be made soon.

Forster’s widow Kate says, “I am focusing on the opportunity to preserve and continue to grow the legacy of my late husband. Bert has a unique track record in the event industry, including promoting and producing live entertainment and starting up venues, and I am looking forward to working with him to take the company forward.”

Van Horck’s previous roles including being CEO of Netherlands-based event crowd management specialist ICMS, which trades as Showsec in the UK, and MD of de Boer Structures UK. He has also worked within the organising committees of multi-sport events, such as heading the safety and security department during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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