Jacks Thomas is resigning as director of the London Book Fair after seven years in the role and is leaving Reed Exhibitions, the company that operates the fair. The change is effective this summer and no successor has yet been announced.
Thomas took the position at LBF after a long career in publishing and public relations, including a stint working in the United States for Reader's Digest. During her tenure at the fair, Thomas helped raise the international profile of the event, launched several new initiatives, such as the Quantum and Diversity in Publishing conferences, an expansion of the Literary Translation Center and the Author HQ, plus the creation of London Book and Screen Week. She also shepherded the fair through a difficult move from Earl's Court to Olympia, as well as the recent decision to cancel the 2020 fair as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
“It is of course bittersweet to be making this announcement public after 2020 LBF was cancelled, instead of — as I had anticipated — during the course of another successful fair," Thomas said, in a statement. "Whenever I look back at the last seven years I am astonished by how much the Book Fair has evolved. ”
Darren Johnson, CEO of Reed Exhibitions UK added, “I am sad to see Jacks leave Reed Exhibitions and LBF. She has certainly had a powerful impact on the show and leaves Reed Exhibitions in a great position to continue to support the industry in new and innovative ways. The London Book Fair is an iconic brand with a rich 50-year history that Reed Exhibitions is honored to curate and we will continue to invest and build on the great work Jacks has overseen in the last seven years."
Reed said it will announce future plans for LBF "in the coming weeks."