BintamiM wrote:Two words people. Scott Ross... he is dismantling this company little by little
Catch me up here...who is Scott Ross?
This is not an endorsement of BintamiM's statement. I don't have enough information to confirm or deny that's what's happening, and besides it's usually a really bad idea to blame a powerful person so pointedly on the Internet without citing any evidence.
This is taken from the San Diego Union Tribune. When talking about Gus’ “disagreements in decision making with the board of directors” I’d be willing to be that this view right here was a large portion of the contention. His likely had a greater more long term view for the parks that included beefing up and modernizing the animal exhibits where as the board likely wanted to follow the strategy of more rides and less animals.
Animals, insists SeaWorld CEO Gus Antorcha, are central to both the business model of the company and its mission, and that will not change. In fact, he would like to see them emphasized even more.
“Animals are absolutely core to the experience of SeaWorld,” Antorcha said last week in his first interview with a reporter since joining the theme park company four months ago following Manby’s departure.
“Animal experiences make us unique, and the other competition doesn’t have that. Yes, we’ve been adding more roller coasters but they’re all linked back to education and conservation. If you look more broadly, we’re trying to make sure a family will have a great day at the park, and thrill rides done the way SeaWorld does them help round out that experience.”
Today SeaWorld Entertainment announced that Sergio Rivera will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. He fills the post previously vacated by Gus Antorcha after he resigned only 7 months into his tenure as CEO. Also announced was the appointment of Neha Jogani Narang to the Board of Directors.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, today announced the appointment of Sergio (Serge) D. Rivera to the position of Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective November 11, 2019. The Company also announced today that Neha Jogani Narang will be appointed to its Board of Directors, effective November 11, 2019. These appointments will increase the size of the Board of Directors to nine members.
Mr. Rivera previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of ILG, Inc.'s Vacation Ownership Segment, where he was responsible for development, sales, marketing and resort operations. Prior to ILG, Mr. Rivera was the President of the Americas for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and was responsible for the performance and growth of Starwood's brands and its owned, managed and franchised businesses in North America, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Polynesia.
"Serge has a strong track record as a leader and operator in the hospitality and leisure industries," said Scott Ross, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. "Serge brings to SeaWorld exceptional leadership and management skills across sales, marketing, operations, development, finance and commercial management."
Ross continued, "The strategy we have in place for SeaWorld continues to work and we have made good progress. We look forward to Serge's leadership as we continue to improve and accelerate our execution through enhanced marketing and communications initiatives, more effective pricing strategies, cost and capital efficiencies and the introduction of new and compelling rides, attractions and events across our portfolio."
Mr. Rivera said, "I am thrilled to join the SeaWorld team. The Company has an exceptional business model, an irreplaceable set of assets and an incredibly talented group of ambassadors who are driving extraordinary service and experiences for our guests. While very strong progress has been made executing against the long-term plan in place, I know that there's more to do to ensure that the long-term potential of the business is fully unlocked. I look forward to working with this very talented team to further improve our execution and dramatically increase shareholder value."
Rivera continued, "Importantly, I also want to express how proud I am to join an organization and team that is so committed to the highest standard of animal care and makes enormous and important contributions to conservation, animal rescue, research and education."
Marc Swanson, who assumed the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer in September 2019, will return to his former role as Chief Financial Officer. Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy, who has been serving as Interim Chief Financial Officer, will return to her former role of Chief Accounting Officer.
Ross added, "We thank Marc and Elizabeth for their leadership while we conducted our search. We look forward to them working closely with Serge to drive operational excellence across the Company."
Appointment of Neha Jogani Narang to Board of Directors
The Company also announced today that Neha Jogani Narang will be appointed to its Board of Directors.
Ms. Narang most recently was the director of consumer and developer marketing for Facebook where she led marketing for several businesses from inception, including Mobile App Ads, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Platform, Profile, Pages, Events, and more.
Ross said, "We are extremely excited to have Neha join our Board of Directors. Neha has a unique and highly valuable background in consumer marketing, brand, product, digital media, ecommerce and technology. She brings to our board experience and insights that will ensure our marketing and communication efforts are fully aligned with the current realities of our customer base."
"I am honored to serve on the SeaWorld Board of Directors," said Narang. "My family and I are enormous advocates of SeaWorld, its incredible entertainment destinations, and very importantly, its commitment to education and conservation. Prior to joining the board, I spent a lot of time at SeaWorld and was fortunate to meet with the Company's zoological experts and leaders of the rehabilitation centers. What I found was an organization passionate about the health and well-being of the animals in its care and in educating guests about wildlife. As the marketing and communications functions continue to evolve, I am confident that I can bring to bear my understanding of consumer marketing and technology to help SeaWorld better connect with the communities they serve."
About Sergio (Serge) Rivera Mr. Rivera previously served as President and CEO of ILG Vacation Ownership Segment, a leading provider of professionally delivered vacation experiences and the exclusive global licensee for the Hyatt®, Sheraton®, and Westin® brands. Prior to that, he served as the President of the Americas for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he was responsible for the performance and growth of Starwood's brands and businesses in North America, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Polynesia, which encompassed 700 hotels and 125,000 associates across 23 countries. Mr. Rivera also serves on the Board of Directors for Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL), as a member of Florida International University's Chaplin School of Tourism & Hospitality Management Advisory Board and as a Trustee for The Nature Conservancy's Florida Chapter. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of ILG, Inc., the Rosen College of Hospitality Dean's Advisory Board at the University of Central Florida, the U.S. Travel Association CEO Roundtable and as a Trustee and Board Member of the American Resort Development Association. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance and a master's degree in business administration from Florida International University.
About Neha Jogani Narang Neha Jogani Narang is a leader in business and consumer marketing, with an expertise in product, partnerships and brand marketing. She has led marketing strategy for brands across multiple industries including commerce, social, payments, CPG, advertising, education and logistics. Ms. Narang advises companies of various sizes on how to structure their marketing organization and prioritize marketing needs. Ms. Narang also serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Prior to that, Ms. Narang was director of consumer product marketing and global developer marketing for Facebook, where she was responsible for marketing several businesses within Facebook from inception to market leaders, developing a strong community engagement program to reach the Facebook community and leading Facebook's largest conference, F8. She earned an M.B.A from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
Well so far at least it looks like Seaworld is keeping its corporate promise to phase out theatrical orca shows by the end of 2019. At San Antionio there are only killer whales up close presentations scheduled for January 1 2020 as opposed to Shamu Christmas miracles on December 31. Whether you support this decision or not, it is good to see companies actually following through on things that they promise the consumer.
There are actually some really interesting changes going on at Shamu stadium in Orlando in addition to phasing out the show.
If you go to the underwater viewing area they've actually filled the bottom of the tank with rocks and loaded the tank with fish. They explained to us that the rocks have to be there for the fish because of a certain type of bacteria that needs to be able to grow to support them (or something like that). We were really surprised to see a bunch of fish in an orca tank but they're taking this "creating a more natural environment" thing very seriously. I sort of just expected a natural backdrop and the same show without music.
They also confirmed that yes, the whales have eaten about 25% of the fish but they've been there for awhile and they think they might keep them around as they also enjoy playing with them for enrichment. They're not really sure what the whales will do but they're free to do whatever. It's also the first-such tank in the world.
PS: I still think that phasing out theatrical shows is stupid.
Huh, kind of odd IMO. Most traditional parks saw games as an extension of marketing and a money maker. IE, Cedar Points "game row", flashy and enticing. However, I do see this for SEAS parks as games seem to be mostly a side thought. IE, BGT where in Pantopia, all the game kiosks just seem to be in the way of passing through to the next ride/attraction. Never really see anyone playing those games. I was never into the games though, with the exception of Fascination ( RIP Fascination at CP) and then for a short time only as rides were awaitin' and times awastin ! Might be a good cash flow generator for the parks and may bring some fresh blood into the rather tired games sections.
"We are pleased to report a strong finish to the year with record-setting performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal year," said Serge Rivera, Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. "Despite continued unfavorable weather during the quarter, we continued to grow attendance and total revenue per capita and executed on our cost and efficiency initiatives. Our strategic focus on new rides, attractions and events in every park every year, improved marketing, communications and pricing strategies and a relentless focus on cost efficiency initiatives has resulted in significant increases in attendance, revenue, and Adjusted EBITDA over the last two years."
In the fourth quarter of 2019, the Company hosted approximately 4.7 million guests, generated total revenues of $298.0 million, incurred a net loss of $24.2 million and reported Adjusted EBITDA of $83.9 million. Net loss includes a previously announced legal settlement charge, net of insurance recoveries, of approximately $32.1 million. Net loss in the fourth quarter of 2018 includes approximately $8.2 million of pre-tax expenses associated with a loss on extinguishment of debt and write-off of discount and debt issuance costs, $2.5 million related to disposals associated with certain rides and equipment which were removed from service and $1.0 million related to severance and other separation-related costs.
In fiscal 2019, the Company hosted approximately 22.6 million guests and generated total revenues of $1.4 billion, record net income of $89.5 million and record Adjusted EBITDA of $456.9 million. Net income in 2019 includes approximately $32.1 million related to a legal settlement charge, net of insurance recoveries, $4.3 million of pre-tax expenses associated with a previously announced equity transaction and $4.2 million of pre-tax expenses associated with severance and other separation-related costs. Net income in 2018 includes approximately $54.0 million of pre-tax expenses associated with: (i) $17.4 million related to severance and other separation-related costs; (ii) $12.1 million related to legal settlements; (iii) $10.9 million related to disposals associated with certain rides and equipment which were removed from service; (iv) $8.2 million related to a loss on extinguishment of debt and write-off of discounts and debt issuance costs; and (v) $5.5 million related to non-cash equity compensation associated with certain executives which separated from the Company in 2018.
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