Amid controversy concerning tax-dollar allocation, VisitDallas has appointed an interim CEO to replace Phillip Jones, who stepped down on Wednesday.

Sam Coats

The organization chose Sam Coats, former mayoral candidate and former board member of Visit Dallas (then known as Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau), to take Jones’ position while the board continues to search for a permanent CEO.

Jones’ resignation comes months after a City Hall audit challenged the way in which the organization handled tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and the source of Jones’ compensation.

On the same day, Mayor Mike Rawlings disclosed in an interview that Matthew Jones has resigned from his position as chief financial officer. The two departures are not related.

“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,” Jones said. “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.”

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