John Langford, former chief operating officer of Big Concerts in South Africa, has moved to Glasgow to become director of concerts and ticketing at the Scottish Exhibition Centre.

He will also perform the same role at The Hydro, the soon to be completed 12,000-seater that’s being built on a neighbouring site.

Energy provider Scottish Hydro has committed to invest £1.5 million annually in the new venue over the next 10 years.

The Hydro is already booked to play an integral role in the 2014 Commonwealth Games as home of both gymnastics and the netball finals.

“Of course, I had to choose the coldest Easter on record to move across the Atlantic,” he said of his move from sunnier climes. “The Hydro will undoubtedly have a dramatic impact on the live entertainment landscape in the UK, and I really wanted to be a part of this.

“Glasgow has always had a vibrant live music scene, and this iconic arena is well placed to transform the manner in which entertainment is enjoyed in the city.”

Langford, who was at Big Concerts for seven years, his wife and two children have found a house within walking distance of the venue.

In a newly created role, he will be responsible for overseeing and developing sales activity within the concerts, events and ticketing sectors and to position The Hydro (and wider SECC campus) alongside the best premier live entertainment venues internationally.

“John brings particular expertise in the areas in which we perform and has a proven international track record of building successful relationships in the concert and ticketing business,” said SECC chief exec John Sharkey.

“He will play a major part in our commitment to make The Hydro a Top 5 world arena and we are delighted John has agreed to join us at such an exciting time.”

“We’re sure gonna miss him and we wish him well,” said Big Concerts director Justin van Wyk, who told Pollstar that the gap will be filled by internal reorganization rather than looking for a direct replacement.

Big Concerts has upcoming shows with Metallica, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna.