WHY PRICE IT: SeaWorld Entertainment’s CEO says the company’s recent leadership and organizational changes, including the creation of an entirely new position, will help it better execute initiatives, capitalize on opportunities and improve its financial and operational results. — Laurie Baratti, Associate Writer TravelPulse
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a leading theme park and entertainment company, today announced the promotion of eight executives across the business as part of organizational realignments designed to position the company for continued growth and long-term value creation. This includes the creation of a new Chief Transformation Officer role and the appointment of two experienced park managers to the co-role of Chief Parks Operation Officer (CPOO), one for the Florida parks and the other to lead all parks outside of Florida. The company also appointed an interim CFO and treasurer, three new park presidents and a new CAO. All roles involve promotions from the organisation.
Marc Swanson, CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. said, “I am pleased to announce these important leadership promotions and organizational changes that will help us better execute our plans and initiatives, capitalize on opportunities and deliver improved operational and financial results.”
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Swanson went on to say, “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in recent years, including emerging from the pandemic an even stronger and more profitable business with industry-leading results. And I’m excited about our plans for 2023 with an amazing lineup of new rides, attractions, events and new and improved park arenas and offerings The changes announced today, along with our long-term plans to increase revenue, improve the in-park experience and operations and improve cost management, will put us in an even stronger position to to deliver greater value to our stakeholders – the millions of guests who enjoy our parks each year, our ambassadors throughout the company, the communities in which we operate, our partners and our investors.”
Current CFO and Treasurer Chelle Adams was promoted to the new position of Chief Transformation Officer. In this new role, Adams will be responsible for streamlining and reengineering organizational processes and implementing high-value initiatives to ensure the successful execution of our transformation strategy. She will also be responsible for leading our business development and growth activities. Adams joined the company last year from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas where she was responsible for, among other things, driving business transformation and process improvement across the organization.
Jim Forrester was promoted to serve as interim CFO and Treasurer. Forrester has been with SeaWorld since 2019, most recently serving as CFO for Orlando Parks including SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove. He has more than two decades of theme park finance experience, including at The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, among others.
Two experienced park managers were promoted to the co-position of Chief Parks Operations Officer (CPOO). The CPOOs will be jointly responsible for overseeing all park operations. Kyle Miller was promoted to CPOO for all Florida parks. Miller has served as Park President for SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica Orlando since 2019 and has been with the company for approximately 28 years. Byron Surrett was promoted to CPOO for all parks outside of Florida. Surrett served as Park President for SeaWorld San Antonio and Aquatica San Antonio since 2019, and in June he will celebrate 47 years with the company.
Three managers were promoted to Park President positions. This includes Jon ‘JP’ Peterson, who was promoted to Park President of SeaWorld Orlando. Peterson has been with SeaWorld for approximately 30 years and has served as Vice President of Zoological Operations for SeaWorld Orlando since 2019. Bradley Gilmour was promoted to Park President for Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove. Gilmour served as Vice President of Park Operations for Discovery Cove for the past four years, and 2023 marks his 20th year with the company. Jodi Davenport was promoted to Park President for SeaWorld San Antonio and Aquatica San Antonio. Davenport has been with SeaWorld since 2020, most recently serving as vice president of finance and IT for the park. Prior to joining SeaWorld, Davenport had a nearly 20-year career at Six Flags where she served in a variety of finance roles, including CFO.
Shekufeh Boyle was promoted to Chief Accounts Officer, reporting to the CFO and Treasurer. In his ninth year at SeaWorld Entertainment, Boyle most recently served as the company’s corporate controller and vice president of accounting. Prior to joining SeaWorld, she served in public accounting as an audit manager. Boyle is a certified public accountant.
All promotions and changes take effect immediately.
For more information, visit seaworldentertainment.com.
SOURCE: Press release from SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.