MCEC’s COO retires; two new changes made to executive team

Leighton Wood

Leighton Wood, chief operating officer of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced his retirement following over 10 years of service. His last week at MCEC will be the first week of July.

Wood first joined MCEC in November 2010 as deputy chief executive.

Leighton Wood

In February 2012 he was appointed chief operating officer and currently oversees a team of more than 700 employees across operations, F&B, 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, Wood 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.

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.

Meanwhile, acting director of people & culture, Amanda Wilson has been permanently appointed as chief people officer.

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