SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) today announced that it has appointed Gustavo (Gus) Antorcha as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective February 18, 2019. John T. Reilly, who has served as Interim CEO during the CEO search process, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer. The Company's announcement follows a thorough search process led by a special committee of the Board of Directors.
"We are thrilled to welcome Gus to the SeaWorld team," said Yoshikazu Maruyama, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Gus is a proven leader with broad experiences in the travel and leisure industries. His unique combination of strategy, operations and leadership skills make him the right person to lead SeaWorld through its next phase of growth. Gus helped deliver strong financial results and improved guest satisfaction at Carnival by leading efforts to optimize pricing, improve onboard marketing and communications, introduce new guest experiences and drive capital and cost efficiencies – all core to SeaWorld's current strategy."
Antorcha was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of Carnival Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the world's largest leisure travel company, where he worked for over eight years. Prior to joining Carnival, Antorcha was a Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global strategy and management consulting firm, where he helped clients set strategy and drive operational excellence in the travel and leisure industries. Antorcha graduated magna cum laude with distinction from Duke University and subsequently earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Antorcha stated, "I am excited to join the SeaWorld team. SeaWorld has an irreplaceable portfolio of incredibly valuable assets and brands and provides guests with highly differentiated and inspiring experiences. The organization has an outstanding group of dedicated employees who, together, have a clear focus on improving execution, enhancing the guest experience and growing revenue, profitability and free cash flow. I look forward to working with this talented group to enhance and accelerate these efforts and to help realize the full potential of this business for all stakeholders."
Maruyama, who previously assumed the position of Interim Executive Chairman, will resume his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Over its more than 50-year history, SeaWorld Entertainment has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The Company's theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.