Peter King, chief executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), has announced that he will leave his role after eleven years.
He will remain with MCEC as it manages this business transition and is committed to ensuring its success as it emerges from the acute stage of the pandemic. This time will allow for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET) to recruit his replacement.
King has had an incredibly successful tenure bringing the Good Friday Appeal to MCEC, overseeing the venue’s expansion, delivering record revenue for MCEC and economic impact for the state of Victoria, driving sustainability in business events, and transforming the organisation during the pandemic.
In 2014, MCEC officially became the home of the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, one of Australia’s most iconic and life-changing fundraising events.
In 2018, King led the $205 million expansion of MCEC, which increased event space by 25 per cent making it the largest centre of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
In recent years, King pushed MCEC to become a global leader in sustainability in business events. In 2018, MCEC became a partner in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project which means the 20,000 square metre expansion space at MCEC is powered with renewable energy. In 2019, the business recovered more than 68 tonnes of food waste and donated over 74,000 meals to food rescue organisation OzHarvest.
During his time at MCEC, King was focused on maximising the venue’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 this presented by managing the transformation and diversification of the business.
This included supporting the Victorian Government’s vaccination rollout and adapting the space to attract partners such as The LUME Melbourne, Australia’s first permanent digital art gallery.
King also oversaw a comprehensive business transformation to an agile operating model, to better position MCEC to serve customers in the wake of the pandemic.
“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.
“I do want to call out the incredible achievements we have made as a team. 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.”
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Martin Pakula said King has been instrumental in building Victoria’s global profile through conferences and businesses events.
“I thank Peter for his work as chief executive,” he said. “His dedication has been crucial to the state’s success in this sector.”
John Brumby, Chair of MCET, said King had “achieved incredible things” with the MCEC team during his tenure.
“Over my time as Chair since 2017, I have valued Peter’s strategic counsel, emotional intelligence, confident leadership, and industry insight,” Brumby 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.”