NEP CEO Kevin Rabbitt to leave post; ‘proud of what we accomplished together’
NEP Group CEO Kevin Rabbitt will leave the company on June 30 after eight years at the helm when he sets sail, almost literally, to become CEO of Hornblower Group which operates cruises and other events in cities like New York, Boston, Long Beach, and more. The transition plan was agreed to in February and all day-to-day operating responsibilities to a newly created Office of the CEO transition team led by global presidents Mike Werteen and Graham Andrews who oversee NEP’s Broadcast Services & Media Solutions and Live Events operating segments, respectively, and CFO Gerry Delon. This team, in partnership with the Carlyle Group, NEP’s financial partner, will work together with Rabbitt to make the transition to a new CEO as seamless as possible.
“I’ve truly enjoyed my time at NEP and am really proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” said Rabbitt. “Between the leading global market position we’ve built, our amazing management team and the strength of our Carlyle partnership, NEP is in very capable hands and is well-positioned to thrive for years to come. I look forward to seeing NEP’s continued success.”
A CEO search is underway and is expected to attract strong candidates due to NEP’s leading market position and Carlyle’s reputation as a leading private equity firm focused on creating value and growing businesses globally.
“Kevin has been a great CEO, a great mentor to me, and he has helped us truly transform our company into the global, diversified industry leader we are today. I will miss him, but I wish him well in his new endeavor,” said Werteen.
Werteen says that one of Rabbitt’s great contributions to NEP was ensuring that NEP had the right operating philosophy, the right resources and the right team in place to continue to drive and execute on a strategy.
“He’s empowered all of us on the executive and senior leadership teams to own our path forward and collectively we are ready to continue to do just that,” he added.
During Rabbitt’s tenure, NEP has grown its operations from two to 24 countries, built a full suite of end-to-end client solutions, and created a winning culture centered around the shared core values of delivering superior service, building lasting relationships, operating with integrity, and working as One Team. NEP has become a diversified, global leader, delivering a full suite of broadcast services, media solutions and live event audience enhancements for live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events.
Andrews agrees with Werteen’s assessment of Rabbitt’s leadership, adding: “We’re a financially healthy company with the support of one of the world’s largest investors in Carlyle. We’ve been working with clients during the pandemic on exciting, innovative remote technologies, and we simply have some of the best talent in the business. Mike and I are very confident in our future and look forward to our next chapter and helping our next CEO succeed.”
Tyler Zachem, managing director of Carlyle, thanked Rabbitt for his work, adding that, Rabbitt and the team have achieved a huge amount during this period, building NEP from a regional leader in Broadcast Services in the US and UK into a true global, outsourced technical production partner for NEP’s clients.
“We strongly believe in the Executive team and their ability to run the business as we search for the right leader for our next phase of growth,” said Zachem. “We remain as supportive as ever of NEP and will work with the team to ensure its continued success.”
Reflecting upon his time at NEP, Rabbitt said, “I want to thank our employees, clients and partners in the broadcast and live events industry for welcoming me into their world more than 8 years ago. You treated me like one of yours from the beginning while teaching me the nuances of the industry. I am thankful for the many friendships and relationships I have formed around the globe as a result. Like the rest of the world, I can’t wait for the full return of live sports and entertainment, but this time, I’ll be watching as a fan with an immense appreciation for the amount of talent, innovation, and sheer grit that goes into every game or event.”