RICK Hamilton, the CEO of Tourism Fiji, has been removed from his position by the board of directors after revealing he had accepted a position with a rival tourism body.
In a statement issued yesterday, Minister for Tourism Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said since taking on the role in January 2013 and under the guidance of the board of directors, Mr Hamilton assisted the implementation of an important phase of the organisation's restructure.
"The board also acknowledges the role Rick played in establishing the team that co-ordinated the successful inaugural Fijian Tourism Expo last week, and that the organisation is now placed to fit a leader with a skill set necessary for the evolution of Tourism Fiji and its strategic plan," he said.
With about 17 years of experience in the travel industry, the outgoing CEO joined Tourism Fiji following a five-year stint as managing director of Flight Centre New Zealand. Government also revealed how Mr Hamilton's family could not move to Fiji when he began his position as chief executive last year.
"When Mr Hamilton was appointed CEO, it was with the understanding that his family would relocate with him to Fiji.
"The board was advised after Mr Hamilton began his tenure that their relocation was not possible, and understands his wish to no longer be separated from his family and take up a position in the same location."
It explained that the process of finding a replacement for Mr Hamilton had already started.
"Tourism Fiji's board of directors are giving careful consideration to potential permanent candidates for the CEO position, and expects to announce a replacement in the near future."
When contacted, Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association president Dixon Seeto said he would rather not comment on the issue.