Former Xero CEO, company director and tech investor Chris Ridd has returned to the startup coalface as the chief exec of Brisbane venture EventsAir.
Ridd, who’s been chairing the company’s board since early 2022, announced via LinkedIn that he’s excited to be back on the C-suite.
“As I reflect back on my 30 year career, I have been involved with events of all sizes from the very beginning. These include overseeing TechEd and many other large marketing events at Microsoft during the 2000’s,” he said.
“As CEO of Xero in Australia, I helped architect the Xero roadshow series as well as the very first Australian Xerocon in 2011, now one of the most iconic technology events in the Southern Hemisphere. The events industry has been through a great deal of turmoil and faced many challenges over the past 2 years, but it is bouncing back.”
While EventsAir has been around since the ’90s, the business pivoted into event-tech over the past decade, ramping up those capabilities during the pandemic to provide virtual events. It’s based in Brisbane with more than 120 staff and a global customer base across APAC, EMEA and the US.
“EventsAir established itself as a leader through agile cutting edge technology,” Ridd said.
“Producing over 350,000 events worldwide, EventsAir is a leader in the events industry servicing world leading customers in the associations, professional event organisers, corporate, government and education sectors.”
The business recently had a private equity capital injection from Riverside Partners.
“With the industry rapidly shifting back to in-person events this feels like the ideal time for me to be jumping into the CEO role,” Ridd said.
“I believe the combination of our longevity and track record of innovation means that EventsAir is well positioned to capitalise on the huge opportunity in the events tech market in the years ahead.”
Ridd will continue to be based in Melbourne while setting up digs in Brisbane, adding that as part of the role, he’ll be spending plenty of time overseas selling EventsAir to the world.
And for people looking for tech jobs, EventsAir currently has 20 open roles in Queensland.