East Coast Macworld Spat: Charlie Greco Of IDG World Expo Quits In Midst Of Negotiations With Apple

[Update: We are being told privately that any suggestion that Charlie Grecois departure has anything to do with negotiations with Apple -- which we suggested in The Mac Observer Spin below -- is, in a nutshell, wrong. The Spin is being left as we published it for posterityis sake, and discussion surrounding the move of Macworld to Boston remains. - Editor]

A rather surprising turn of event in the Macworld Expo East Coast will-they-or-wonit-they saga is being reported by the Boston Globe. Hiawatha Bray of the Globe is reporting that Charlie Greco, the famously... shall we say "willful," head of IDG World Expo has quit the company he has led for many, many years.

This is significant as it comes in the middle of what has been termed a billionaire-clash-of-the-egos between Mr. Greco and Apple CEO Steve Jobs concerning the fate of the East Coast Macworld Expo show.

It all started when IDG World Expo announced that the East Coast Mac event was going to move back to Boston after 5 year stint in New York. At that time, Apple issued a terse statement announcing that it would not participate in the Boston show, and may indeed pull out of the last remaining New York show in 2003. Apple specifically said the company "disagreed" with the choice to move the show.

What followed was a bit of tit-for-tat as IDG World Expo said it might bar Apple from the MWSF 2003 show, and then a public kiss-and-make-up from both companies. Apple officially committed to the MWSF 2003 show, and Charlie Greco welcomed the company. The press release from Apple included:

"Weill be there, and weire fully committed to making Macworld San Francisco a great experience for everyone," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO.

"Weire thrilled with Appleis enthusiastic support of Macworld San Francisco 2003 and look forward to another record-breaking crowd," said Charlie Greco, president and CEO of IDG World Expo.

MWSF 2003 has come and gone, and MWNY 2003 is fast approaching. Enter todayis news from the Boston Globe:

The chief executive of IDG World Expo is quitting his post, in the midst of delicate negotiations to persuade Apple Computer Inc. to attend IDGis Macworld trade show in Boston next year, according to a published report.

In an electronic mail bulletin to its subscribers, Tradeshow Week magazine reported that Charlie Greco is leaving Framingham-based IDG World Expo for another position in the event management industry, and that IDG has begun seeking a replacement.

Officials of IDG World Expo did not return phone calls seeking comment. A spokesperson for Mayor Thomas M. Menino was aware of the report, but said Menino was unavailable for comment.

You can read the full story at the Boston Globeis Web site.