Colin Rorrie, Jr., PhD, CAE, recently e-mailed members of Meeting Professionals International to say that he'll be stepping down as president and CEO as of this week. Mark Andrew, chairman-elect, will take a leave of absence from his job as general manager of The Westin Bayshore Resort Marina in Vancouver to temporarily take over the Dallas MPI office. Rorrie says of his seemingly abrupt departure:
- When I became President and CEO of your association in 2003, there were specific objectives I set out to accomplish on behalf of our members and staff. We have succeeded beyond my early expectations, and I feel the time is right for me to explore new horizons both personally and professionally.
Oh wow, oh wow. I thought he did a remarkable job, and I loved the way he was reaching out to and working with other organizations to accomplish mutual goals. That's not easy in this business.
Let the wild CEO hunt begin...
Update: I'm on a press conference call about this right now. There's talk about restructuring the organization (to be more of a matrix structure—sorry, I mean this type of matrix), and wanting to get someone with the proverbial "new skill set" to take them on the next step. Rorrie says he doesn't have any immediate plans, so it doesn't sound like he got a better job offer. They say it has nothing to do with merging with any other association. They talked a lot about how they're going to remake MPI in concordance with the Blue Ocean Strategy, which, according to Value-Based Management, means:
- Rather than competing within the confines of the existing industry or trying to steal customers from rivals (Bloody or Red Ocean Strategy) in the HBR of October 2004 W. Chan Kim and RenÃ©e Mauborgne suggest Blue Ocean Strategy: developing uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant.
According to Kim and Mauborgne, competing in overcrowded industries is no way to sustain high performance. The real opportunity is to create blue oceans of uncontested market space...
There are two ways to create blue oceans:
- One is to launch completely new industries, as eBay did with online auctions.
- It is more common for a blue ocean to be created from within a red ocean when a company expands the boundaries of an existing industry.
I guess I'd need to read the book to understand what that's all about. But there's no doubt that this is a crowded market space. Still, I can't figure out why he's leaving so quickly, when they stressed on the call that all structural changes will evolve over time.