The news comes five months after David Levin stepped down from the position. He had been chief executive of UBM since 2005 and will leave the company on 1 March.
Cobbold will join the company from commercial banknote printer De La Rue where he held the same position. He will also join UBM’s board as an executive director.
Prior to De La Rue, Cobbold was chief executive of Chloride Group, an international provider of secure power solutions, and he also worked at Smiths Group where he held a variety of senior roles, including a number of managing director positions. He is also a non-executive director of Drax, large coal-fired power station.
Dame Helen Alexander, chairman of UBM, will become executive chairman until Cobbald takes up his position. She will then revert to her non-executive role.
Alexander said: "I am very pleased to welcome Tim to UBM as CEO. He was an outstanding candidate from a very strong field. Tim has successfully led highly international, operationally complex businesses; the board is confident that his track record ideally qualifies him to continue the development of UBM as a focused, international events-led marketing communications business."
Cobbold added: "I’m delighted to be joining UBM: it’s an exciting, dynamic international business. As a market leader in both the global events and the news and digital content marketing industries it has significant growth potential."
UBM also announced Karen Thomson, an independent non-executive director at the company, will step down from the board on 31 March. She has served on the board since August 2006.
"Karen has helped enormously in the process of appointing our new CEO, and I am hugely grateful for her support," Alexander said. "Her knowledge and experience, particularly of the online world, has been extremely valuable to UBM and I would like to express the board’s and my thanks for her great contribution and valuable insight."
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