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MPI chief announces departure

The 20,000-plus members of Meeting Professionals International received an e-mail last week announcing that Colin Rorrie, Jr., Ph.D., is stepping down as president and CEO immediately. Mark Andrew, CMP, general manager of The Westin Bayshore Resort Marina in Vancouver, British Columbia, who is scheduled to be elected chairman of the board of directors in July, will take a leave of absence from his job to temporarily lead the MPI office in Dallas.

In a press conference held last Wednesday, Rorrie and Christine Duffy, chairwoman of the MPI Board and president and CEO, Maritz Travel, said that the board had come to a conclusion at a meeting in Orlando, Fla., the previous week that the organization would be taken in "new directions."

Those new directions include reorganizing the structure of the organization from a traditional association, or "functional" organization, to a "matrix organization,” Duffy said. When asked to give an example of a matrix-based association that MPI might use as a model, she did not supply one.

Rorrie said that when it was acknowledged that someone “with a different set of business skills” was needed to lead the association in new directions, and that Andrew would be brought in temporarily, he decided to step down. He said the board agreed with his decision. Rorrie added that “it is not the best experience for the incumbent to sit around while the chairman-elect comes in.” Rorrie joined MPI as president/CEO in 2003.

Duffy said the new organizational changes and directions would be announced within the next 30 to 60 days, and that group would look to both the association and business communities for a new leader.

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