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ICCA announces search for new CEO

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) signals ambitious change ahead as long-serving CEO, Martin Sirk, steps down. 

ICCA has announced the abrupt departure of its CEO, Martin Sirk, who will step down at the end of July 2018 after 16 years in the top job.

The ICCA Board released a statement overnight that it “will be working with new leadership to drive the association forward over the coming decade, and to identify and implement new business models that will future-proof ICCA in what is certain to be a dynamic and hyper-competitive environment”.

ICCA’s chief value officer, Dennis Speet, will lead the association as acting CEO with immediate effect.

Sirk joined ICCA as CEO in 2002 and has led the association’s growth to more than 1,100 member organisations in 97 countries.

“Sixteen years is an exceptionally long period in any role, and I’m immensely proud of the team in Amsterdam and our regional offices around the world,” Sirk said. “I believe I have played a major role in safeguarding the unique culture of ICCA – genuinely global, friendly and open-minded, but always business-focused – throughout the many changes that we have gone through. I wish my successor joy and success with this extraordinary association, which I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to serve.”

ICCA will appoint an international recruitment firm to assist with the selection and evaluation process of its next CEO.

ICCA President Nina Freysen Pretorius said: “We would like to thank Martin for his many years of dedicated service. He has laid the foundations for the next era of ICCA’s development, and the ICCA Board is now determined to identify the right individual to work with us in realising our ambitious long-term vision for tomorrow’s ICCA.

“We anticipate that there will be many challenges but also some enormous opportunities to expand our business community and to deliver new and even better value to our members, and I know that the future of our association is very bright.”