The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has announced the shock departure of its long-standing CEO Martin Sirk after 16 years at the helm.
Sirk, who leaves the organisation at the end of July, will be replaced by ICCA’s chief value officer Dennis Speet as acting CEO until a permanent replacement is found.
In a press statement the ICCA board said it would 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’.
Sirk joined ICCA as CEO in 2002. Under his tenure the Amsterdam-based association has seen its membership grow from 600 to more than 1,100 companies and organisations in 97 countries.
He said: “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. 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 now appoint a new CEO at the earliest opportunity and will be appointing an international recruitment firm to assist with the selection and evaluation process.
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.”