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Six Flags Names New Executive Chairman & CEO


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Six Flags Names Jim Reid-Anderson as Executive Chairman; John Duffey Promoted to President & CEO

February 18, 2016 7:45 AM EST

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company, today announced that its board of directors has split executive leadership roles at the company by naming Jim Reid-Anderson the company’s executive chairman and promoting John Duffey to president and CEO, both effective February 19, 2016. Mr. Duffey has also been appointed a director of the company.

 

“The company has strong momentum and tremendous growth opportunities over the next decade, and I am proud to have helped our team deliver record guest satisfaction, industry-leading innovation, all-time high employee satisfaction, and our sixth consecutive year of record financial performance,” said Jim Reid-Anderson. “Strategically and operationally, we are firing on all cylinders and I am extremely excited to mentor the company’s next-generation of leaders. John Duffey has been instrumental in our past success and is a proven leader within the company, and this is an excellent time to transition responsibilities and develop others on our management team as we continue building the Six Flags brand globally.”

“I am honored and excited to become the CEO of Six Flags and work side-by-side with the best team in the industry,” said John Duffey. “We are extremely well-positioned for long term growth and shareholder value creation.”

The company also announced that Marshall Barber has been promoted to chief financial officer. Mr. Barber has built a successful career at Six Flags over the last 20 years, serving most recently as the company’s vice president financial planning & analysis. He is extremely experienced, having previously held both corporate level and park-based roles with increasing levels of responsibility.

In addition, the company announced its senior vice president of in-park services, John Bement, has retired from Six Flags following 48 years of dedicated service. Mr. Bement has been honored by Mr. Reid-Anderson for his incredible work, and received the company’s prestigious Angus Wynne Lifetime Achievement Award, which has only been awarded to a handful of people who have devoted their lives to enhancing both Six Flags and the theme park industry.

David McKillips, formerly senior vice president of corporate alliances, was named the new senior vice president of in-park services and Brett Petit, senior vice president of marketing and sales, has assumed the responsibility of the corporate alliances sales team, consolidating all marketing and sales functions under one leader.

 

 

 

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I don't think it affects Great Adventure much at all. I think they're gonna stick to what they've been doing.

And it's probably not going to affect the other parks as well.

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  • 1 year later...

This almost sounds like a forced retirement.

https://skift.com/2017/07/18/six-flags-just-unexpectedly-replaced-its-ceo-with-its-previous-ceo/

“I do want to wish John all the very best for the future and to thank him for his major contributions during his excellent tenure with the company, including his time as president and CEO,” Reid-Anderson said in a statement.

 

Shares were down more than two and a half percent midday Tuesday, and early reaction outside the company seemed to be one of bafflement.

 

The headline of an investor note from Stifel Nicolaus analyst Steven Wieczynski said: “Is the Abrupt CEO Change Shocking? Yes! Do We Believe it’s a Fundamental Issue? No!”

 

Wieczynski wrote that he spoke to the company early Tuesday and learned that Duffey was already gone from the company and there was no transition period.

 

“In our view, something strange is going on although our most important takeaway is nothing is wrong with the company from a fundamental standpoint,” he wrote. “We asked the company about the timing around Mr. Duffey’s ‘retirement’ and it seems it is not a health issue but the company would not comment on it more than that.”

 

Wieczynski wrote that the incoming CEO stands by long-term goals of reaching earnings targets of $600 million this year and $750 million by 2020. Duffey, he said, would still get part of his incentive compensation tied to those goals.

 

In the official announcement, Six Flags said that the board of directors had appointed Reid-Anderson to the CEO position due to Duffey’s retirement.

 

Last year, when Duffey was named to the top job, Six Flags said it was splitting executive leadership roles by making Reid-Anderson executive chairman and Duffey president and CEO. Tuesday’s announcement indicates those roles are no longer split, as Reid-Anderson’s title is once again chairman, president, and CEO.

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Just my opinion, but this company is a mess. And, again, it's just my opinion, but the reason it is such a mess is because it's largely managed by bean counters. People who see their guests as nothing more than sources of revenue and profit per person. The company really needs some long established theme park veterans running it, understanding that getting as much money per person at the gate and in the park is the surest way to limit your long-term viability. Bean counters can be found in every company, but when they're running the company, guest satisfaction, creativity, and your brand's image are all diminished and will lead to the company's ultimate demise.

 

Even the press release for this announcement was issued by the company's Director of Investor Relations, with investors being the intended audience. It's almost as if the company sees investors as their customers as opposed to the millions of people that attend (or would want to attend) their parks each year. When the primary goal of a company that is not in the financial services industry is simply to make money, it's operating in the wrong industry and everything from that point forward is wrong.

Edited by Daved Thomson
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It has to impress Wall Street and that is the problem. Same problem with Cedar Fair, Disney, etc. They all live now from quarter to quarter and redirect on demand instead of following long term plans. It was different when Six Flags wasn't a public traded company.

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It has to impress Wall Street and that is the problem. Same problem with Cedar Fair, Disney, etc. They all live now from quarter to quarter and redirect on demand instead of following long term plans. It was different when Six Flags wasn't a public traded company.

I worked for the same company for 25 years and it was employee owned. Then it was bought out by a publicly-traded company, and EVERYTHING changed.

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Yep, managing a public company is much more difficult than managing a private company. People always claim Six Flags is in financial trouble, but this isn't really true anymore if you look at the financials. Six Flags gives most of the money they make back to the shareholders as dividends or spends it on share repurchases to boost the stock price. It they ran into trouble again, they could cut the dividend to pay down debt, but this would tank the stock price and executive compensation is tied to the stock price and increasing EBITDA. Six Flags could increase the CapEx budget for new rides or park improvements but this would upset the investors.

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It has to impress Wall Street and that is the problem. Same problem with Cedar Fair, Disney, etc. They all live now from quarter to quarter and redirect on demand instead of following long term plans. It was different when Six Flags wasn't a public traded company.

Absolutely agree, however, a publicly traded company that operates either wholly owned subsidiaries or operating divisions better balances or spreads out its risks than does a company like Six Flags or Cedar Fair. Those two companies are strictly theme park owners/operaters/management companies. Disney, while theme parks have largely been their cash cows, as a whole is an entertainment company. They're not strictly dependent on theme parks. Somewhat like you'd expect from an investment fund including companies/assets from a variety of industries. Six Flags, essentially, uses its parks to spread the risks out financially and, in doing so, has really diluted the brand image from a property perspective while narrowly defining the brand's target base. While Cedar Point was not always public, each of the other theme park companies were wholly owned subsidiaries of larger corporations, part of that larger company's strategy of diversification. I guess I'm just yearning for the days of Six Flags being wholly owned by a parent corporation.

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Does anyone know what happened with this investment?

 

"On June 19, 2007, Six Flags announced it had purchased 40% of Dick Clark Productions, which owns rights to American Bandstand and other shows and productions."

 

Also, I never knew that Six Flags attempted an indoor amusement park a the Power Plant in Baltimore (1985-1989). I've been there several times since then, and would never have guessed it was a park at one point. Does anyone know what they built in there?

 

on edit - looks like the Power Plant was just some show theaters and simulators - no coasters

http://www.greatadventurehistory.com/Forums/index.php?showtopic=1395

Edited by dougdrummer
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Does anyone know what happened with this investment?

 

"On June 19, 2007, Six Flags announced it had purchased 40% of Dick Clark Productions, which owns rights to American Bandstand and other shows and productions."

 

 

Did you get this from wikipedia? Because right below that sentence is the answer:

"In 2012, Jim Reid-Anderson stated that the company would sell its stake in Dick Clark Productions."

 

 

 

There's also a bit more info on DCP's page:

 

 

On June 19, 2007, Dick Clark Productions was sold to Daniel Snyder, Washington Redskinsowner and former chairman of Six Flags, for $175 Million.[7] After founder Dick Clark's death on April 18, 2012,[8] Snyder commented that he was proud when he purchased Dick Clark Productions, adding that Clark was "in every sense of the word, a giant." Until 2012, Dick Clark Productions was majority owned by Red Zone Capital Management, a Daniel Snyder-controlled private equity firm, with a 40 percent stake held by Six Flags.[9] The week of June 13, 2012, Red Zone confirmed a possible sale of D.C.P., and that investment bank Raine Group had been tapped by D.C.P. to determine possible suitors for the company.
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