Ex-Visit Florida CEO received reduced pay-off following Pitbull controversy
By Andy Malt | Published on Wednesday 11 January 2017
The former CEO of the Visit Florida tourism agency Will Secombe will be paid $73,000 to go away. He stepped down from his position last month after it emerged that he had paid Pitbull $1 million to go around saying that Florida is dead good.
As previously reported, the Florida state government sued to have details of the secret deal revealed last year, which resulted in Pitbull posting his contract on Twitter. Under the lucrative “celebrity ambassador” arrangement, Pitbull committed to perform a New Year’s Eve show in Miami, make a music video for ‘Sexy Beaches’ on some of Florida’s beaches, and display “#LoveFL” on screens at his live shows. All of which I would happily have done for $500,000 from the largely tax payer-funded tourism organisation.
As pressure mounted over the deal, a number of Visit Florida execs resigned, including Secombe. However, under his employment contract he was entitled to a minimum pay off of his full $326,000 annual salary if he left the role. However, given the nature of his departure, he and Visit Florida have negotiated a deal that will see him paid $73,000.
Secombe will be replaced by the secretary of the Department Of Business And Professional Regulation, Ken Lawson. In a statement, Florida governor Rick Scott, who pressured Secombe to stand down after the scandal broke, said that Lawson “understands the responsibility we have to be transparent with every tax dollar”.