Leighton Wood, Chief Operating Officer, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced his plans to retire following over ten years of service.

Peter King, Chief Executive said Leighton’s experience and guidance has 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,” Mr 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.”

Mr Wood says he has 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,” Mr Wood 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.

“The team now needs to reset for a different future, built by new leaders.”

Following this news, MCEC has made two appointments within its Executive Team.

Helen Fairclough, current Director of Business Relaunch has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer.

Helen joined MCEC as Director of People & Culture and has over six years’ experience within its executive team. She has experience as acting COO and was appointed into the new role of Director of Business Relaunch in May 2020.

“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,” Mr King said.

Acting Director of People & Culture, Amanda Wilson has also been permanently appointed as Chief People & Culture Officer

Leighton Wood’s last week at MCEC will be the first week of July.


Leighton Wood biography

Leighton Wood joined the award-winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) in November 2010 as Deputy Chief Executive.

In February 2012 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer and currently oversees a team of more than 700 employees across Operations, Food and Beverage, Technology, Planning, Security & Safety and Capital Works while also managing the working relationship with MCEC’s partners, Plenary Group and BGIS.

Leighton is responsible for the day to day delivery of the MCEC product and provides high level strategic advice to the Executive Team and Trust, particularly in the areas of future business planning and ongoing organisational improvement. He is also passionate about sustainability and has driven significant reductions in MCEC’s environmental footprint.

He is currently President of the Venue Management Association of Asia Pacific and will see out his term until 2023. He was formerly Vice-President of the EEAA.

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.