Peter Rigby is one of the great survivors among European media company chiefs. He became CEO of what is now Informa Plc in 1989, the year when: Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, Time Inc merged with Warner Brothers, and Alan Bond’s media-to-brewing group became Australia’s largest ever bankruptcy. It was also the year Rupert Murdoch launched Sky TV in the UK with a prediction: “The television set of the future will be, in reality, a telecomputer linked by fibre optic cable to a global cornucopia of programming and nearly infinite libraries of data, education and entertainment, all with full interactivity”.
Rupert Murdoch has thrived in the 23 years since his far-sighted MacTaggart Lecture in Edinburgh. And so has Peter Rigby. He had joined the then International Business Communications (IBC) by way of its acquisition of newsletter and magazine company Stonehart Publications, where he was a rookie Finance Director. That was one of seven diverse acquisitions during 18 heady months for the company floated in 1986 by some-time political activist and academic Michael Bell.
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