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17 Sep 2019

Antorcha leaves SeaWorld after seven months, interim CEO in place
BY Andy Knaggs

Gus Antorcha joined SeaWorld from Carnival Cruise Lines in February 2019

Gus Antorcha joined SeaWorld from Carnival Cruise Lines in February 2019

SeaWorld CEO Gus Antorcha has resigned from his position after just seven months in the role, with chief financial officer Marc Swanson stepping up as interim chief executive officer.

Antorcha, who joined in February from Carnival Cruise Lines, commented: "While I may have a difference of approach, I continue to believe in SeaWorld's strategy, mission, team and prospects."

Chief accounting officer Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy has been appointed interim chief financial officer, while continuing in her previous role, and Antorcha added: "Marc and Elizabeth are fine leaders, and I am confident in their abilities to guide the company forward."

Scott Ross, chairman of SeaWorld's Board of Directors, thanked Antorcha for his contribution, before quickly detailing the qualities of Swanson and Gulacsy. He said: "We know Marc and Elizabeth will be excellent leaders in their new roles and will continue to successfully drive the business forward.

"Marc has been with the company for 19 years and has a deep understanding of the company, its parks and its strategy. He has been a key contributor to the success of the business for several years. Elizabeth has been with the company for seven years and has extensive knowledge of the company and its financial profile."

SeaWorld's recent results showed an upswing after a number of years of decline, much of it caused by controversy over captive cetaceans in its parks. Visitor numbers for the first six months of 2019 were 9.8 million – a 1.7 per cent rise year on year. Earnings were up by 34 per cent to US$166m (€151m, £134m) over that period.

Antorcha had recently spoken positively about his initiatives to turn SeaWorld around, including measures designed to make the company more cost-efficient. As reported in the latest edition of Attractions Management, he said: "We're going to continue to find ways to become more efficient without impacting the guest experience."



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