The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board has hired Ernest Wooden, Jr., as president and CEO, succeeding Mark Liberman who retired in May 2012 after nine years at the helm.

Wooden has had a long career in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining the bureau, he was CEO of Creative Consulting, a hotel consultancy, and before that he served as executive vice president and senior managing director at Alagem Capital Group, an investment company specializing in the hospitality space.

The previous 10 years, Wooden held leadership positions with Hilton Hotels Corp., first as senior vice president of operations and then as executive vice president, global brands. In addition, Wooden has worked in management roles at Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree by Hilton, and Promus Hotel Corp. 

“Ernie has the industry experience and knowledge to help us grow our convention and tourism business—ensuring Los Angeles is a leading destination of choice for visitors from around the world for years to come,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Los Angeles enjoyed record-breaking hotel occupancy in 2012 and counted 40 million visitors to the city. “Moving forward, we are very pleased to welcome someone with Ernie’s depth of global hospitality branding and operations experience,” said Tom Mullen, chairman of the LATCB board. “He is known in the industry for building relationships and driving business results, and we look forward to working with him to capitalize on the momentum our tourism industry is enjoying.”