New York -- Robert Krakoff, chief executive of Nielsen Business Media, one of the country's largest trade show producers, died suddenly of natural causes Thursday night at his Boston home. He was 71.
A veteran of more than 30 years in the media and exhibition industries, Krakoff joined Nielsen predecessor VNU Business Media last August following the acquisition of parent VNU Inc. by a group of private-equity firms. VNU was renamed The Nielsen Company in January.
In addition to producing more than 60 trade shows, conferences and other events combined, Nielsen Business Media publishes several publications and websites related to the meetings industry, including MeetingNews, Successful Meetings, Incentive, and MiMegasite.com.
Krakoff served as chairman and chief executive of media company Advanstar from 1996 through 2003. He became executive chairman on Jan. 1, 2004 and retired six months later.
Prior to joining Advanstar, Krakoff served as an executive for more than two decades at Reed Elsevier, an international business-to-business media company with a large exhibition division. He was vice chairman of Reed when he retired, and at one time he served as chief executive of Reed Exhibitions.
Krakoff is survived by his wife, Sandra, three children, and seven grandchildren. Funeral services were scheduled today in Boston.