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John Sharkey

John Sharkey

SMG Europe (UK)

John Sharkey is executive vice president for Europe for SMG. John has responsibility for the European business operations in venue management, hospitality and catering and is also responsible for spearheading the Group’s ambitions across Europe, Asia and the Middle-East.

He has previously advised various clients and some of the world’s largest private equity businesses to find value in the conference, exhibition and entertainment industry and related infrastructure projects across the UK, Continental Europe and the US.

He was also group chief executive of Scottish Exhibition Centre Ltd, which runs the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre in Glasgow, and between the CEO and the FD role he spent 12 years with the business. John led the management team charged with developing and growing the SEC’s core business as the largest conference, concerts, exhibition and events centre in Scotland which incorporated ticketing solutions. 

He also led the team responsible for delivering the new SSE Hydro Arena, a 13,000-capacity state-of-the-art entertainment venue that opened on time, on budget, and to critical acclaim in September 2013 and established itself as the 2nd most successful entertainment venue in the world in its first year. The SECC complex was also a major component of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games.

He has previously held positions with First Group Plc, Scottish Enterprise and Ernst & Young. John is a Scottish-trained Chartered Accountant and former member of the ICAS Council. He has also held a number of Non-Executive Directorships.

Academic & Professional Qualifications

B.Acc (Hons) Glasgow
MBA Strathclyde

Professional Skills