They announced that new blood was needed to take IABC in new directions, namely putting more content in digital form and revamping the stalled Accredited Business Communicator program.
Biggest digital change was converting IABC's magazine, Communication World, to online-only, which took place with the most recent issue.
Both initiatives, as well as the firing of 16 staffers, caused an eruption of more than 300 postings by members on a LinkedIn website.
The nearly 1,200 members (about 10% of total) who earned their ABCs were upset that a new credential might replace that designation. Other members protested the switch of the magazine to online-only, noting that PR Society of America continues to print both its monthly PR Tactics tabloid and quarterly PR Strategist magazine.
Neville Hobson, longtime member of IABC who decided not to renew because of the new policies at the group, found fault with the online CW in his blog.
Ed Lallo, longtime member of IABC, posted on newsroomink.com that Sorek's "demanding leadership style" and lack of face-to-face contact with members "caused friction" with members and staff. Lallo noted that Sorek was hired after the initial selection of the search committee decided not to take the job.
Sorek Succeeded Freeman
Sorek, who had been working in the U.K. and Switzerland for more than 12 years, succeeded Julie Freeman, who was the staff head for more than ten years.
Neither he nor Kerby would reveal the terms of his contract. Kerby said the 2012 financial report of IABC will not be given to members until the board reviews it during the 2013 conference, which will be in New York from June 23-26 (Sunday-Wednesday).
The firing of half the IABC staff on a Friday night was called internal PR's worst nightmare by longtime member Roger D’Aprix. He said he had spent his entire career warning management not to take such drastic steps with employees.