shareholders ousted the company’s previous leader, they have now elected Yoshikazu Maruyama, an executive of Zhonghong Group, to take over.
SeaWorld named its new board chairman this week after shareholders ousted the previous leader.
The board of directors elected Yoshikazu Maruyama to take over beginning Oct. 9, according to a news release from the company.
Maruyama is an executive of Zhonghong Group, which acquired 21 percent of equity interest in SeaWorld Entertainment earlier this year.
“He brings over 20 years of global theme park and family entertainment industry experience and helped to lead the early turnaround of Universal Studios Japan, which was recently acquired by Comcast NBCUniversal,” the release said.
Theme-park industry expert Dennis Speigel said SeaWorld, which posted disappointing second-quarter earnings for shareholders, is dealing with more than a “10-year problem” to rebound.
“A new chairman coming in is going to have an impact — you don't change chairmen unless you’re looking for impact,” said Speigel, president of Ohio-based consulting firm International Theme Park Services.
In a statement, Maruyama highlighted his “fresh perspective” to the board. He said he was “deeply committed to working with the management team to deliver memorable guest experiences, extend SeaWorld's iconic brands to global audiences, improve business performance, and enhance value for shareholders and all our important stakeholders,” in a statement.
Previous board chairman David D’Alessandro, who led the board since 2010, failed to get a majority of votes in an uncontested board election in June. SeaWorld faces several challenges, ranging from lackluster attendance to two federal investigations.
“We believe we’re on the right path; it will take time,” SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment CEO Joel Manby told shareholders last month.