Leighton Wood (pictured), chief operating officer, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced his plans to retire following over 10 years of service.
Chief executive Peter King said Wood’s experience and guidance had been instrumental to MCEC’s success over the past decade.
“Under Leighton’s leadership, MCEC has achieved record revenue and customer satisfaction results, he is a leader that puts his people first and has great respect within our business and the broader events industry,” King said.
“Leighton leaves a significant legacy in the area of sustainability; he has done an immense amount of work to ensure MCEC is a leader in this space, to which our business and our environment will always be grateful for.”
Wood said he had been very fortunate to work at MCEC during a period of great change and success. “Our devotion to the customer experience is unrecognisable to when I arrived in 2010,” he said.
“I’ve learnt so much about leadership from an always supportive CEO, I’ve enjoyed working alongside various and talented executive team peers and their high performing teams and I’ve been blessed to have worked with an operations team of the highest professional quality and culture.
“The team now needs to reset for a different future, built by new leaders.”
Following the news, MCEC has made two appointments within its executive team.
Helen Fairclough, current director of business relaunch has been appointed as chief operating officer. She joined MCEC as director of people & culture and has over six years’ experience within its executive team. She has had experience as acting COO.
“I believe Helen is uniquely placed to contribute to the reset of our business for the future and I have absolute confidence that the delivery excellence we are so passionate about will be in great hands,” King said.
Acting director of people & culture, Amanda Wilson has also been permanently appointed as chief people officer.
Leighton Wood’s last week at MCEC will be the first week of July. He is currently also president of the Venue Management Association of Asia Pacific and will see out his term until 2023.
Prior to MCEC, Leighton held a number of senior executive roles for various organisations, including the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne Major Events Company, Sport Knowledge Australia and the Princess Alexandra Hospital Foundation.