Dame Helen Alexander CBE, chairman of UBM, passed away on 5 August following a period of illness, according to a statement from the organiser. She was 60. From 1997 to 2008 Dame Helen served as chief executive of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist newspaper, which she joined as a marketing executive in 1985.
She was awarded a CBE in 2004 for services to publishing, and under her leadership The Economist saw circulation surge nearly 50% and operating profits rise by 75%.
In 2009 she became the first female head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and joined UBM as chairman in May 2012.
On behalf of the board, acting chairman, Greg Lock said: “The thoughts of everyone at UBM are with Helen’s family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them. In her role as chairman, Helen has demonstrated exceptional leadership and was critical to the successful re-creation of UBM as a leading events business over the past four years.”
“In an extraordinarily successful and diverse career, Dame Helen has been a leading figure in the international business, media and education communities as well as being at the forefront of the rightful promotion of the skills and capabilities of women in business. All this and more she achieved with a gentle humility and fundamental kindness.”
Dame Helen, who was married with three children, had been fighting cancer for several years.