Chicago, IL – Juan Ochoa announced his resignation May 5 as CEO of Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (MPEA), the agency that oversees the city’s massive McCormick Place.
Ochoa’s departure was effective immediately, although he planned to remain on the job until an interim CEO was appointed.
The announcement was not unexpected and came as the Illinois General Assembly put the finishing touches on legislation that would launch a major overhaul of McCormick Place operations. The reforms are aimed at making it easier and more affordable for trade shows to take place at the center, but some are controversial and are opposed by exposition industry stakeholders.
Ochoa was appointed to the position in 2007 by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. His departure came as the legislature prepared to vote by May 7 on reforms that will likely also include a reduction of MPEA staff and the appointment by the state of a special advisor to oversee the agency.
Ochoa said in a statement issued by the MPEA that he planned to work in an unspecified capacity on immigration reform. Ochoa spent ten years as president and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce prior to his appointment to the MPEA.