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April 5, 2019

ICCA Names Senthil Gopinath New CEO

The ICCA’s Board of Directors has selected Senthil Gopinath to serve as the organization’s new CEO. The Board made the selection in a closed-vote process, with Gopinath winning by majority vote. He will begin the new role in April.

Gopinath’s career in the meetings travel industry spans more than 20 years, the ICCA said, with 18 years spent working within ICCA member organizations. He joined the ICCA team in 2016 as Regional Director of ICCA Middle East (ME). In that role, he has forged new relationships with regional governments and industry partners, and grown ICCA ME membership by more than 80 percent.
The Board noted several career accomplishments as key to their consideration of Gopinath during the candidate review process, including:
elevating MICE operations for Emirates Group as its head of business development and operations, making the division one of the largest and most profitable in the region; re-structuring and re-strategising the business model of VFS Global a part of Kuoni Travel Group, growing annual profits over 60 percent in two years; creating a private-public partnership model for the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, increasing business tourism by 78 percent and driving a 64 percent increase in revenue; and being named one of three finalists for the 2019 Business Event Strategist of the Year award from the Professional Convention Management Association, with the winner to be announced in May. 

Gopinath’s selection marked the end of a process that began in October 2018 and drew more than 100 applicants for the position, the ICCA said. Finalists were screened through extensive interviews as well as an objective, psychometric evaluation of work styles and strengths using a leading industry instrument. The Board was assisted in the search process by Brussels-based European Affairs Recruitment Specialists (EARS), which was retained for the task in October.
Gopinath’s immediate responsibilities will include developing and executing annual business plans, ensuring operational sustainability and careful financial controls, and building ICCA’s global membership and presence with a special focus on developing member services adapted to each of ICCA’s key regions. He will work from the ICCA Head Office in Amsterdam and report to the president and Board of Directors.

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