Ty Speer suddenly departs Tourism Vancouver

Board of directors issues memo to announce departure

Ty Speer has been Tourism Vancouver CEO since mid-2014 | Chung Chow

Tourism Vancouver is embarking on a global recruitment process to replace CEO Ty Speer, it has announced in a memo to members. Speer’s departure is effective November 28.

Ted Lee, the CFO and director of destination development, will be the interim CEO, Tourism Vancouver announced.

“After five years of Ty leading the organization as president and CEO, we greatly appreciate Ty’s efforts and leadership during this time,” according to the memo.

“Tourism Vancouver is in a strong position with a solid financial foundation, engaged membership and coveted product second to none in the world. We look forward to continuing to support Vancouver’s growth as a globally leading destination for leisure and business travellers, and an attractive host city for meetings and events.”

Speer became Tourism Vancouver CEO in mid-2014, following a stint heading the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Speer’s first experience overseeing budgets was as a fresh-faced 22-year-old who moved to Washington, D.C., to work on a political campaign.

It was 1988 and the Duke University graduate, who had a history degree, was inspired by George Herbert Walker Bush, the Republican candidate in that year’s U.S. presidential election.

Speer volunteered his time to do what he calls the “non-political” work of ensuring that the campaign’s spending followed federal election rules. He impressed his superiors enough that he won a short-term paid job to do similar tasks to wind down the campaign following Bush’s victory.

It was his first of many jobs that had a defined end date.

Later jobs in Australia, England and Scotland were connected with either the Olympic Games or the Commonwealth Games.

Business in Vancouver reached Speer but he declined to elaborate on his reasons for leaving.