11/06/2014 03:54 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST

CEO of Calgary Stampede retiring in 2015 after nearly 30 years with rodeo

CALGARY - The chief executive officer of what's billed as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" is retiring next spring.

Vern Kimball has been chief executive officer of the Calgary Stampede since 2006.

The Stampede says on its website that before becoming CEO, Kimball was chief operating officer for two years, chief financial officer for 10 years and held significant roles in food services, sales and facilities, and long-range planning since joining the organization in 1986.

The Stampede says Warren Connell, who is currently vice–president of park development, will take over as CEO when Kimball retires at the end of March.