Australian Exhibition Services (AES) has appointed Matthew Pearce as Managing Director, taking over from company founder, Graeme Selby. Selby remains Chairman of AES and will focus on business development opportunities.

Pearce’s appointment marks the beginning of a new era for AES, which will re-brand from 1 July 2006 as Diversified Exhibitions Australia, thus aligning the company with its US parent, Diversified Business Communications.

Since the acquisition in 2000, AES has experienced rapid growth, with a doubling of revenues and a strong profit performance.

“AES remains committed to a program of expansion both in the field of exhibitions and in related media sectors,” Selby says.

“The appointment of Matthew Pearce reflects a desire to draw on expertise external to the exhibition industry and to optimise the potential for income generation in non traditional marketing areas.”

Pearce was previously General Manager, Publishing, PMP Limited – Australia’s largest public print and media services company. His background also has a strong media focus and including roles with the Herald & Weekly Times, publisher of the Melbourne Weekly and Managing Director of the Australian arm of FTSE listed UK firm, Sportsworld Media Group.

Selby says that one of Pearce’s first challenges will be overseeing the transition of the AES brand to Diversified Exhibitions Australia, and that his experience in print media – which enjoys many similarities to exhibitions - will add a new dimension to the company’s operations moving forward.

“I believe the corporate experience Matthew brings to AES is a very significant asset. With 24 years of success, we now need to look beyond the exhibition industry to related areas for fresh, innovative initiatives,” Selby says.