Tourism Australia’s CMO Replaced, As MD Quits

Tourism Australia’s CMO Replaced, As MD Quits

Tourism Australia’s managing director, John O’Sullivan has quit, while outgoing CMO Lisa Ronson has been replaced by Susan Coghill.

Tourism Australia has today advised that its managing director, John O’Sullivan, is leaving the organisation to take up a new role as CEO and executive director of the ASX-listed company, Experience Co.

He will leave the organisation in June, handing over to Tourism Australia’s regional GM International, Phillipa Harrison, who will act as interim managing director until a permanent replacement is found.

O’Sullivan said: “I’ve had five terrific years at Tourism Australia, leading an incredibly talented team who do such a wonderful job promoting Australia to the world. The opportunity to lead an ASX-listed company such as Experience Co. is an incredibly exciting prospect and keeps me in an industry I really did not want to leave.

“It’s with mixed emotions that I now move on, but I feel I’m leaving the organisation in a really good position. Australian tourism is performing well, with international arrivals and spending both at record levels. We’ve reshaped our marketing narrative. Our Tourism 2020 journey is nearly complete, with the $115 billion target set back in 2009 already achieved, and I firmly believe Tourism Australia is driving the right strategy to take the industry to new levels.

“Off the back of the successful launch of Australia Inc. and an extremely successful Australian Tourism Exchange in Perth, I feel confident in saying that Tourism Australia is well-respected across industry and acknowledged for creativity and collaboration.

“I’ve always felt that the role of Tourism Australia is to provide a platform for our industry to better tell its stories. Through our campaigns and our other activities, I think we’re doing that better than ever.”

A search to find O’Sullivan’s successor is underway.

In additional Tourism Australia news, the organisation has confirmed the promotion of Susan Coghill to CMO, replacing Lisa Ronson who left the organisation in March.

In her current role as GM of creative, content and campaigns,  Coghill has helped set the creative marketing direction for Tourism Australia, overseeing the recent Dundee, Undiscover Australia and Australia Inc. campaigns.

She was also instrumental in completing the organisation’s agency roster, bringing on board new creative agency, M&C Saatchi.

Coghill said the opportunity to lead the marketing team at Australia’s national tourism organisation was a huge honour.

“As an American who fell in love with Australia on my first visit as a holidaymaker and has now made it my home, this is a dream job. To say I’m thrilled is an under-statement.

“This is an extremely exciting phase in our marketing journey at Tourism Australia. I’m blessed in having an amazingly talented team in place, strong and committed agency partners and a shared vision in how we tell our story and add value for our industry.

“I think Dundee shows what can be achieved when you think big and are brave. It’s certainly that same bold ambition I’ll be encouraging as new CMO,” she said.

Coghill takes up the new position immediately.

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