Dave Brownlie is leaving Whistler Blackcomb (WB) after a career that spans nearly three decades with the organization.
"While not an easy decision because of my commitment to Whistler Blackcomb, the Whistler community, the Sea to Sky corridor and our partnership with the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations communities, after an incredibly rewarding journey, my family and I are ready to take the next step toward exploring new personal and professional opportunities," said Brownlie, WB's chief operating officer.
"I know I am leaving the resort in the great hands of my leadership team and Vail Resorts."
The announcement was made on May 24, just seven months after Vail Resorts bought WB in a $1.4 billion deal.
A 2016 recipient of Business in Vancouver's BC CEO of the Year Award, Brownlie has been with WB — through all its iterations - since 1989, when he joined as the resort director of finance following a brief tenure with Vancouver accounting firm, KPMG.
He has since served as the vice president of finance and corporate development, the resort's president and was appointed chief executive officer in 2012.
While Brownlie was with Whistler Blackcomb he co-led the merger of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, was instrumental in the conceptualization and development of the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, played a key role in the hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and guided the resort's Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2010.
In February 2017, he helped secure new 60-year Master Development Agreements with the Province of British Columbia, in partnership with the Squamish and Lil'wat Nations on whose traditional territories the resort operates.
"I am extremely proud of what the Whistler Blackcomb team has accomplished and, just as important, how we have moved our business forward," said Brownlie, who plans to stay on through mid-summer.
"Community alignment, commitment to sustainability and giving back through the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation have been critical to our success.
"I have always said if we're not getting better at the resort, then we're falling behind.
"I am deeply thankful for this nearly 30-year career and the unique opportunity to be the CEO of Whistler Blackcomb as a standalone public company for more than five years. I'm confident that the next industry leader to step into this position will continue to move the resort forward to keep getting better and better."
Said Pat Campbell, Vail Resorts' mountain division president: "We are incredibly grateful and proud of Dave's contributions throughout his long tenure at the resort, but most especially during the integration of Whistler Blackcomb into our company over this past year.
"His leadership during this transition has been critical to the resort's continued success during the 2016-2017 winter season and its offering of exceptional service to our guests and experience for our employees. Dave leaves a legacy of exceptional leadership, an incredible team and dedication to the resort and the local community that will not easily be replaced nor forgotten."
The company will begin a search for Brownlie's successor immediately.