McIlheney joined the PPA in February 2010, after 21 years at magazine publisher, EMAP, where he oversaw the launches of titles such as Heat and Zoo. Prior to that he served as the Editor of Smash Hits, before launching movie magazine Empire.
Speaking on his departure from the PPA Chief Exec position, McIlheney said: “It has been a wonderful ride, but now is the right time for a change for both me and the PPA. My tenth anniversary seems like the perfect time to step back to a more supportive role here, and also to do all the other things I still want to do while I can.”
PPA Chairman and Immediate Media Chief Executive, Tom Bureau said: “Over the past ten years, Barry has been an outstanding Chief Executive. Membership and commercial partners have grown, he has developed the team, events and association profile. I am delighted that Barry will continue to share his expertise and knowledge.”
McIlheney joined the board of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) at the beginning of this year, and already sits on a number of other boards including the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the Advertising Association, the European Magazine Media Association and the Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo). Last year, he was handed a lifetime achievement award from Magazines Ireland.
The PPA said the process to appoint his successor has now begun, with the aim of having them in post in time for the annual PPA Festival in London on 30 April.