QVM boss Stan Liacos stands down
Queen Victoria Market’s chief executive Stan Liacos is stepping down from his role after conceding it was the “right time to seek new challenges”.
Mr Liacos, who has been praised for steering the iconic market and its 600-plus traders through the pandemic, made the surprise announcement on October 25 after four years in the top job.
Mr Liacos informed the QVM board that he would not seek another five-year term and would finish up at the end of March next year to ensure an effective handover for his successor.
“It was a difficult decision,” Mr Liacos said, but added, “I know I’m doing this in a way that ensures a smooth transition to someone who can give the job their all for the next five years.”
“I have loved my time at the market and am proud of what has been achieved. I believe it is now better positioned for a bright future than it has been for a long time.”
“Leading the market hasn’t been easy and has, at times, been exhausting. Keeping the market and its traders viable during the pandemic was a relentlessly challenging, 24-hour, seven-day week job.”
After contemplating his future, Mr Liacos said he had “one more CEO role in my career and that it is the right time to seek new challenges”.
“I have absolutely loved working with our many stakeholders including our Board, traders, staff and contractor partners.”
Among his achievements was overseeing an increase in the number of popular Night Market events from 28 to more than 40 a year, attracting an extra million visitors to the market in 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Liacos also been acknowledged for bringing a financial management to the market, as well as pioneering online shopping services, and his success in forging partnerships with major events like the Melbourne International Food and Wine Festival, the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Melbourne Fringe, and a range of other cultural events.
QVM board chair Jane Fenton AM thanked Mr Liacos for his dedication and commitment to the market, including his pivotal role in planning the market’s $250 million refurbishment program.
“Stan has a genuine passion for the market. His energy and drive are fuelled by a deep understanding of the market’s central role in Melbourne life, and unbridled optimism about its future,” she said.
“Stan’s lead-by-example, hands-on approach and unrelenting commitment to understanding and caring for all aspects of the market have seen QVM and its traders through a very difficult period when 5km restrictions and cancelled events sadly prevented so many Melburnians from taking their regular trip to the market.”
The board has engaged respected recruitment firm Amrop Carmichael Fisher to undertake the search for a new chief executive.