Tourism Australia has this morning confirmed its Managing Director, John O’Sullivan has resigned to take up a new role as CEO and Executive Director of the ASX-listed company, Experience Co.

He will leave in June, handing over to Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager International, Phillipa Harrison, who will act as interim Managing Director until a permanent replacement is found.

O’Sullivan, who joined Tourism Australia in March 2014, said the time was right to step down.

“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.”

Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, John O’Sullivan

“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,” he explained.

“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.”


O’Sullivan said Our Tourism 2020 journey was nearly complete, with the $115 billion targets set back in 2009 already achieved.

While Tourism Australia Chairman, Bob East said Tourism Australia and the Australian tourism industry have “gone from strength to strength under John’s stewardship”.

“From the beginning, John has set a clear direction for Tourism Australia – value over volume – and has systematically set about executing that strategy.”

Tourism Australia has also confirmed today that it will be promoting Susan Coghill into the role of Chief Marketing Officer, replacing Lisa Ronson who left the organisation in March.

She is currently General Manager Creative, Content and Campaigns, where she has helped develop Tourism Australia’s recent Dundee, Undiscover Australia and Australia Inc. campaigns, as well as oversee the appointment of new global creative agency, M&C Saatchi.

O’Sullivan said Coghill “richly deserved the opportunity” to head up the organisation’s marketing team.


Join us in farewelling John O’Sullivan on a job well done.