MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Zoo has announced its new President and CEO. Executive Director and Vice President Matt Thompson is taking over, as current CEO Jim Dean is stepping down, effective June 16, 2022.
Thompson has been with the zoo for 26 years, working his way up from a zookeeper to many other leadership roles.
Dean was signed to a three-year contract back in 2019. He also served on the board of directors for the Overton Park Conservancy, and the zoo said he worked with the OPC on a revised parking plan. They said Dean will remain involved to see the project through as the agreement is finalized between the City of Memphis and Overton Park.
"Jim had a keen attention to guest experience and appearance of the zoo that significantly impacts guest’s view of the zoo as soon as they walk through the front gates,” said Thompson in a news release. “He also impacted the internal experience for the employees in many ways, most importantly though, he increased communication between departments across the entire zoo."
"It was an honor and a privilege to be able to come back home to Memphis and be a part of this amazing team and help in the great work that they do every day, " said Dean.