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Martin Sirk

Sudden exit for ICCA CEO Sirk

The Board of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has announced the sudden departure of long-serving CEO, Martin Sirk, who is to step down from his position with the association at the end of July 2018.

With Sirk’s swift departure, the ICCA Board said the association’s chief value officer, Dennis Speet would with “immediate effect” lead ICCA as its acting CEO.

The Board said in a statement that 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 and has led the association as it grew from 600 to over 1,100 member companies and organisations in 97 countries.

He commented on his departure: “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 said it would be appointing an international recruitment firm to help find a new CEO at the earliest opportunity.

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.”

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