The removal of Martin Sirk as CEO of ICCA was ‘badly handled’ and the board did not act with due diligence, according to Maritim Hotels international sales director Mark Spivey.
And Spivey revealed that Maritim would not be attending this year’s ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) congress in Dubai in protest over the issue.
“Members should have been informed why this decision was made or should have been made part of the decision process. I think it’s been pretty badly handled,” Spivey told M&IT. “I think they’ve gone beyond their remit – and if they haven’t, they have due diligence to explain the decision.
“An explanation is long overdue to the members and that should come from the board prior to the Dubai Congress next month. Due to the handling of this and the lack of an explanation, Maritim will not attend ICCA until we have a clarification in order that we clearly understand why Martin Sirk was ousted.”
Spivey added that other ICCA members were also confused about the situation.
“Some of the other members have made comments to me and said ‘what’s gone on here?’ Nobody knows, everybody’s just adding to the rumour mill.
“There must be a reason for the termination of contract and that should be shared with the members. They are accountable to the members.”
Responding to the comments, an ICCA spokesperson said: “We respect Mark’s concern for the best interests of ICCA and sincerely hope that we can continue to work with Maritim to advance our industry.
“ICCA’s articles of incorporation specify that the board of directors is responsible for actions to support ICCA’s aims and purpose, including decisions around executive leadership.
“Invested with that responsibility by our members, they take it very seriously, recognising that at times it requires difficult decisions.
“The ICCA board has stated that it was only after much discussion, and in accordance with ICCA's governing by-laws, that the board unanimously voted that our members would best be served by the leadership of a new CEO.”
In July current ICCA president Nina Freysen-Pretorius issued a statement to members aimed at alleviating concerns about Sirk's departure, saying the board has every confidence in acting CEO Dennis Speet and is aiming to appoint a permanent replacement by early spring 2019.