Everything else goes here, including discussion of parks outside of Carowinds and any off-topic discussion
#73539
Seaworld Entertainment, Inc. Names Joel Manby as President and CEO

ORLANDO, Fla., March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Joel Manby as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective April 7, 2015. At that time, Manby, 55, will also join the Company's Board of Directors. David F. D'Alessandro, who has served as interim CEO, will continue to serve as the Company's Chairman.

"The Board of Directors has completed an extensive search process and we are extremely pleased to welcome Joel Manby to SeaWorld Entertainment. Joel has nearly 20 years' experience and a proven track record with business models very similar to ours – multiple brands and multiple properties in the entertainment and theme park industries," said D'Alessandro. "Even in the most challenging business environments, Joel has consistently enhanced the performance of the companies he has led for customers, investors and employees alike. He has the experience and qualifications to lead our Company into the future."

Most recently, Manby has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned theme park and entertainment company in the United States. While at Herschend, he has consistently driven profitable growth, expanding the company from six to 26 properties while more than doubling annual EBITDA and net cash flow. Herschend reports annual attendance of more than 14 million across its companies.

"I am honored to be selected as SeaWorld Entertainment's new CEO. This Company has tremendous brands, and for more than 50 years, families have come to our parks to learn about animals, have fun and be entertained," Manby said. "We are known for our exceptional operations and world-class animal care. My job is to build on that foundation while consistently improving and innovating in a competitive environment. I look forward to working with our more than 23,000 team members through the challenges ahead."

Before joining Herschend, Mr. Manby spent 20 years in the auto industry. From 1996-2000, he served as CEO of Saab Automobile USA, where he increased the company's sales by over 60 percent and improved its J.D. Power Quality Rating from 30th to fifth in the industry. Prior to joining Saab, Mr. Manby held various roles at GM, and was a member of the start-up team for Saturn Corporation, where he was instrumental in launching Saturn's innovative marketing and distribution strategy.

Mr. Manby was the valedictorian of Albion College, where he was a Rhodes scholarship finalist, and he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the boards of several companies and organizations, including Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. and the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. Mr. Manby is married and has four daughters.
#73541
Dang! Didn't see that one coming. I hope whoever replaces him is as good or better for Herschend.
#73569
another story... I doubt Sea World will recover, and they will have big shoes to replace at Herschend...

"Struggling SeaWorld reels in theme park vet to fill CEO vacancy"

The company hired Joel Manby, who previously served as CEO of the country’s largest family-owned theme park operator.

SeaWorld Entertainment announced its new CEO Thursday, three months after the struggling theme park operator said it would dump its former chief executive following years of declining attendance, weak earnings, and negative press.

The company has hired Joel Manby to take over from interim CEO David D’Allesandro, who took that role after Jim Atchison stepped down earlier this year. Manby previously served as the president and CEO of Herschend Enterprises, the country’s largest family-owned theme park operator and the owner of such attractions as Dollywood and Silver Dollar City as well as famed exhibition basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters. Manby will take over as CEO starting April 7, at which point D’Alessandro will stay on as SeaWorld’s chairman.

Atchison left SeaWorld SEAS -0.57% after five years as CEO following a string of disappointing quarterly financial results and the lingering publicity disaster that stemmed from the anti-SeaWorld documentary Blackfish. The film, which was released in 2013 and focused on the conditions of SeaWorld’s signature killer whales, help stoked the controversy over captive marine mammals and led to increased criticism from animal rights groups. Last summer, the company announced it would build bigger enclosures to house the orcas.

(Atchison didn’t leave empty-handed, though, as the former executive received about $2.6 million in severance pay, according to a company proxy statement.)

Now, Manby is tasked with taking over a company that has seen its stock sink more than 40% over the past year. Chairman D’Allesandro said Thursday he is confident that Manby, who also spent time in the auto industry as CEO of Saab Automobile USA, is the right person to turn SeaWorld around.

“Even in the most challenging business environments, Joel has consistently enhanced the performance of the companies he has led for customers, investors and employees alike,” D’Allesandro said in a statement. “He has the experience and qualifications to lead our Company into the future.”

http://fortune.com/2015/03/19/seaworld- ... manby-ceo/
#73603
I think this is huge news for SeaWorld. Joel is one of the few people I can think of off the top of my head who is capable of turning around SeaWorld. We'll start to see the positive results over the next few years.
#73604
We'll see... I think Sea World's business model has come and gone... too much bad press and forever changed public perception of animals held in captivity for our amusement. Maybe if they changed them just to amusement parks, got rid of the animals, and changed their name they might have a chance to survive. :)
#73605
I agree. I think Sea World is damaged goods at this point. I wish there was some way to split off the Busch Gardens parks because I am really worried about their future as part of this company. Deep budget cuts are already hitting the parks and at some point it's going to become evident in the quality of the experience if it hasn't already, which is a huge shame because both Busch Gardens are among my favorite parks.
#73636
Knowing what The Florida and Va parks were supposed to get as opposed to what they are getting, it's evident that budget cuts are severe. The parks are well ran and look great but those cuts will eventually lead to a cut in quality. Stupid PETA and Blackfish.
#73671
Edwardo wrote:Knowing what The Florida and Va parks were supposed to get as opposed to what they are getting, it's evident that budget cuts are severe. The parks are well ran and look great but those cuts will eventually lead to a cut in quality. Stupid PETA and Blackfish.

ooouuuhhhhh! pray tell...
#73683
It's my understanding that the two big Beemers going to the Sea World parks are on indefinite hold but they'll be getting a new skinny coaster for the family at BGT. They just shut the train down for the 2016 construction.

I know those two parks, and SFGADv have made significant cuts to additions lately. Seems like CF is on the up and up company wide.

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