Sir Gary Verity has resigned from Welcome to Yorkshire for health reasons with immediate effect.
The tourism agency said that “although not directly linked to Sir Gary’s resignation” concerns had also been raised “in relation to his behaviour towards staff and his expenses”.
Welcome to Yorkshire said in a statement about the chief executive’s resignation: “As a responsible organisation Welcome to Yorkshire takes all allegations very seriously.
“The board has investigated these and concluded that Sir Gary made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family.
“Sir Gary has agreed to voluntarily reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for monies owed.
“Welcome to Yorkshire is committed to having a positive working environment and would like to thank all our staff for their continued hard work and dedication and look forward to working with them as the organisation progresses.”
The statement continues: “Welcome to Yorkshire would like to place on record its thanks to Sir Gary for the commitment and energy he has demonstrated during his ten years at Welcome to Yorkshire. Sir Gary has led the transformation of Yorkshire’s profile, most notably through the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014 and the subsequent legacy of the Tour de Yorkshire, which have significantly boosted the county’s economy.
“We wish him well for the future.”
Sir Gary has run the tourism agency since October 2008.
He rose to public prominence when he brought the Tour de France Grand Depart to Yorkshire in 2014, which led to him being knighted a year later.
Within the statement, Sir Gary, who lives in Coverdale, said: “Over the last ten and a half years I have always tried to set the highest standards of personal performance and leadership.
“Where this has been achieved, I am grateful and when, on occasions, I have fallen short, I apologise. My health is now my main priority. I ask for time and space to heal.”
“It has been an honour and a privilege to lead such an inspirational organisation and work with such a creative and talented team.”
“I know that Welcome to Yorkshire will continue to go from strength to strength and achieve many fantastic things over the coming years.”
Ron McMillan, chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It is very much business as usual for Welcome to Yorkshire beginning with Y19 on April 3 at The Royal Armouries in Leeds.
“Our tenth anniversary is shaping up to be our most exciting yet as we deliver an incredible programme of events and campaigns to continue to make Yorkshire a number one tourism destination.”