About Ascential Events

Ascential Events bring communities together to be inspired, to trade, to network and to learn. From the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to Money20/20 to Spring/Autumn Fair, we work hard for our customers to produce valuable events that make a meaningful impact on people, brands and businesses across the world. Our teams are passionate about the industries we serve – whether we’re inspiring a new generation of young creative talent, putting breakthrough technology into the classroom or acting as the launchpad for a hot new Scandi homeware brand.

Management - Team

Philip Thomas, Chief Executive, Ascential Events

Philip Thomas is CEO of Ascential Events, the parent company of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and its five associated Festivals, Money2020, and a diverse portfolio of award-winning international B2B events and trade exhibitions.

He began his career as a journalist, working on national and international magazines and newspapers, and editing Empire, the UK’s biggest-selling movie magazine, before moving into publishing and becoming Managing Director of FHM worldwide, launching the iconic men’s magazine in more than 30 countries.

He was appointed Managing Director of Emap’s Australian and South East Asian division, based in Sydney for three years, before returning to the UK, and in November 2006 was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lions Festivals. Philip began his current role when Ascential Events was established in August 2016. He remains CEO of Cannes Lions.

John Gulliver, Chief Financial Officer, Ascential Events

John was Chief Financial Officer of the Exhibitions portfolio and was a key member of the team responsible for the acquisition of Money 20/20 in 2015. He has held senior finance roles in a number of B2B media businesses, including BskyB, Experian, Precise Media and ClarityBlue. John is an established finance leader in both corporate and private-equity backed organisations, operating in the data, information services and media sectors.

Jose Papa, Managing Director, Cannes Lions

Jose Papa became CEO of WGSN in January 2015, based in New York. Previously, he was the company’s regional general manager in Latin America.

Prior to joining Ascential, Jose ran corporate strategy for Group Estado, one of Brazil’s leading media groups, which publishes the country’s top news publication. Jose has also worked as Live Entertainment Director at T4F, the third largest promoter of live entertainment in the world; Business development, new media and IT Director at ESPN Brazil, and Executive Director at VEX, part of Oi Group, Brazil's largest telco.

Jose was educated in the US and began his career at Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup).

Stuart Johnston, Managing Director, Exhibitions Portfolio

Stuart joins Ascential having spent the majority of the last 20 years with two of the UKs leading PLCs. He spent 14 years with Experian's technology and data business QAS having started as an Account Manager and ultimately being appointed their Managing Director. He sat on Experian's Marketing Services Board and was appointed in 2010 to the Experian Global Management Team. He then joined Sky to run their external Advertising Effectiveness business, Sky IQ, a business that turned TV viewing data into insight to improve advertising planning and buying. He also sat on the Sky B2B Exec Team. Most recently he joined Zesty, a VC backed digital health Technology Company, to help develop their strategy from a pure consumer proposition, to a business to business organisation selling an Enterprise SaaS Platform for the Health Sector in Western Europe.

Tracey Davies, Managing Director - International, Money 20/20

Tracey joins Ascential Events from Plexus, also owned by Ascential plc, where she was Managing Director of Retail Week, construction and engineering. Tracey led Retail Week for eight years, overseeing rapid growth through its reinvention from a magazine to a multichannel brand built around paid for content and from live events. Retail Week’s two flagship events, Retail Week Live and The Oracle Retail Week awards, now welcome over 2,500 senior leaders from UK retail meet to share best practice and reward success. Tracey previously held senior positions at The Bookseller and Dennis Publishing.

Contact us at

The Studios
2 Kingdom Street
London W2 6JG
Tel number: +44 (0) 203 033 2000

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