DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – VisitDallas announced Wednesday, Phillip Jones is stepping down as President and CEO.
The VisitDallas Board of Directors and Jones came to a mutual decision at a board meeting today. Mayor Mike Rawlings will announced an interim CEO on Friday, May 9.
The Board has begun a search for a full-time successor, according to a VisitDallas news release late Thursday afternoon.
The agency tasked with luring convention and visitors to town, was called out in a city auditor’s report in January that has raised concerns about a lack of financial oversight of the agency and questionable expenses.
“The Board is thankful to Phillip for his 15 years of leadership and great career at VisitDallas,” said Mark Woelffer, VisitDallas board chair. “We are proud of the work VisitDallas has accomplished during Phillip’s tenure to promote Dallas, which is now a top ten destination nationally for meetings, conventions, sporting events and leisure travel. As Phillip has decided to pursue other opportunities, we wish him the very best.”
“It has been a privilege to lead VisitDallas during an important period of growth for the organization and now it’s time for my next challenge,” said Jones. “Together with my colleagues at VisitDallas, the City of Dallas and partners across the hospitality and tourism industry, we have positioned Dallas as the top visitor destination in Texas for meetings and events, and one of the top convention and visitor destinations in the nation. I’m proud of our accomplishments and know the organization is on track for continued success.”
“Phillip’s positive contributions to Dallas have been significant and lasting,” said Joyce Williams, incoming board chair of VisitDallas. “During Phillip’s tenure hotel room-night bookings increased five-fold, we moved from number eighteen to number six on the country’s top visitor destination list, Dallas’ Tourism Public Improvement District was created and Dallas was re-branded as a global destination. He led the charge statewide to defeat the ‘Bathroom Bill’ not just once, but twice. We wish Phillip well and look forward to continuing the great momentum as we welcome new leadership.”
Williams will lead the search committee to identify VisitDallas’ next leader and will begin work immediately.