Visit Florida loses Thompson, begins search for CEO
Visit Florida’s board of directors has established a search committee to find a new chief executive to replace outgoing CEO Chris Thompson, who leaves to become head of Brand USA, the country’s national marketing organization. As head of Visit Florida, Thompson doubled public funding of tourism promotion, from $26 million a year to $54 million, and led the state’s tourism industry through the BP oil spill crisis in 2010. “Chris has been a great leader, mentor, colleague and friend, and he leaves Visit Florida in a very strong position to pursue our vision of establishing Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world,” says Glenn Hastings, chairman of the organization’s board of directors.
Thompson, who spent 15 years at Visit Florida, leaves Visit Florida at the end of October to become president and CEO of Brand USA. Thompson will be responsible for promoting the U.S. abroad as a travel destination. Will Seccombe, currently Visit Florida’s chief marketing officer, will step in as acting president until a replacement is found.