After six years at the helm, the president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International, Bruce MacMillan, has announced he will not renew his contract, which expires June 30.

“It just makes sense to leave at this point, given where we are,” he said during a telephone press conference June 18. He began thinking about the move once the industry started to recover from the recession, he said, adding that it’s better to leave when the association is in good shape and the path forward is clear. MacMillan has no immediate employment plans.

Cindy D’Aoust, MPI’s chief operating officer, will replace MacMillan on an interim basis. D’Aoust joined MPI in April from MaxVantage, where she was vice president of shared services, and since then has been directing the rollout of MPI’s strategic business plan, working closely with MacMillan.

MPI’s board is in the process of appointing a committee to oversee the search for MacMillan’s permanent replacement. MPI chairman-elect for 2012-2013 Kevin Hinton, executive vice president for Associated Luxury Hotels International, will head up the search committee. Other committee members will be appointed by the end of the week, but their names will remain confidential until the new CEO is named. “MPI will be looking for someone who can help us aggressively expand our global presence, partners, and programs, building on the momentum we’ve already established,” said Hinton. Additionally, MPI will be looking for someone with strong strategic communications, talent development, and community-building skills.

MacMillan has guided the organization through the recession and through a number of successful changes and achievements, said MPI Chairman of Board Sebastien Tondeur during the press conference. He leaves the organization well positioned to face the future, he added, calling MacMillan a “visionary” leader.

“First and foremost, I am proud of what we have accomplished in the last six years,” said MacMillan. During his tenure, MPI modernized and globalized its membership and chapter models; reinvented its relationship with the MPI Foundation to develop more content; redesigned its live events, including the creation of a hosted-buyer model; and introduced a global training practice. “I've been blessed to work directly with an inspired group of volunteer leaders, management colleagues, and industry partners,” he said. “Without their close support and passionate commitment to all things MPI, our success would not have been possible.”

MacMillan was president and CEO at Tourism Toronto before MPI hired him in 2006. He succeeded Colin Rorrie Jr., PhD, CAE, who served MPI from 2003 to April 2006. Prior to that, Ed Griffin served 12 years in the position.