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Charlotte Area

CRVA Demotes Newman, Looks For New CEO

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority has decided to demote its embattled CEO Tim Newman. In a memo to city council, the CRVA board says a search for a new CEO will begin shortly. Tim Newman will continue in that role until the group can find a new leader. After that, the memo says Newman will transition to a new position as the senior executive responsible for business development, sales and marketing. Newman has been criticized by some city officials for entertainment expenses and staff bonus policies, as well as ongoing financial troubles at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The city council has withheld $7 million until the CRVA's board offers an overhaul plan. That vote is scheduled for Monday. In announcing Newman's demotion, the CRVA board asks the city council to release the money. Mayor Anthony Foxx says the move is the most decisive statement yet that the CRVA is making changes to improve its performance and accountability. But council member Edwin Peacock says council shouldn't be interfering with the CRVA's governance. He worries the change may be a bad call. "It is a risky decision under fire to make a change with less than 15 months to go before we get to our city's probably largest and most important convention in its history," says Peacock. The memo says adding Newman's new position will help the CRVA deal with the "increasingly complex nature of the organization and intense competition for conventions and tourism." CRVA officials have not said how much Newman will be paid in his new position. The board hopes to have a new CEO in place by the end of the year.