Peter King has announced he will step down from his role as chief executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) after eleven years.
During his incredibly successful tenure, King has brought the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal to MCEC, overseen the venue’s $205 million expansion, delivered record revenue for the Centre as well as economic impact for the state of Victoria, driven sustainability in business events, and transformed the organisation during the pandemic.
King will remain with MCEC as it manages this transition, allowing time for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET) to recruit his replacement. He will also remain committed to ensuring the Centre’s success as the industry continues to move forward from the pandemic.
“Over my time as Chair since 2017, I have valued Peter’s strategic counsel, emotional intelligence, confident leadership, and industry insight,” MCET chair Hon John Brumby AO said.
“These have been especially important attributes over the last two years, during which Peter has steered the organisation through great uncertainty in the face of the pandemic, as well as overseeing a major transformation to the organisation’s operating model.”
In 2018, King led the expansion of MCEC, which increased event space by 25 percent and grew the venue’s total size to 70,000 square metres, making it the largest centre of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
In recent years, King has been instrumental in driving MCEC to become a global leader in sustainability in business events, and in 2018 the Centre became a partner in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. In 2019, the business recovered more than 68 tonnes of food waste and donated over 74,000 meals to food rescue organisation, OzHarvest.
King was also focused on maximising MCEC’s impact for Melbourne and Victoria, and in 2019 MCEC had a record economic impact to the state, exceeding $1.1 billion.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, King embraced the challenges by managing the transformation and diversification of the business. This included supporting the Victorian State Government’s vaccination rollout and adapting the space to attract partners such as The LUME Melbourne. He oversaw a comprehensive business transformation to an Agile operating model, something the organisation will see the benefits of for years to come.
“My feelings are mixed, because whilst I have loved every minute of working with all of you in an extraordinary industry, I also feel the time is right for a changing of the guard. I have had a fantastic innings with the MCEC and feel optimistic about its future,” King said.
“Over many years, we have brought together people from all over the world to be educated, exchange knowledge, be entertained and importantly – to enjoy our wonderful town of Melbourne. What a privilege it has been.
“My most prevailing memory will be the long line of great people I’ve had the honour of working with at MCEC.”