The chairman of SeaWorld’s board of directors, David D’Allesandro, failed to receive the majority of votes required to keep his position. The vote took place during the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting on Wednesday, after which SeaWorld’s stock increased 7% during trading.
D’Allesandro has held the position since 2010, but will now be offering to tender his resignation. SeaWorld’s board will announce their next step within 90 days. It appears investors aren’t satisfied with the high level of compensation company executives are receiving. Theme parks analyst at Pacific Asset Management, Bob Boyd, said of the vote, “The message they’re sending is they’re going to keep management and the board of directors on a relatively short leash to do the right thing for shareholders. There continues to be a great deal of sensitivity among investors in general for rewards that — at least in the perception of some — aren’t deserved.”
According to Reuters, a disclosed security filing stating SeaWorld would be giving bonuses to D’Allesandro and other executives in reward for the company’s performance since its 2013 IPO also angered shareholders.
SeaWorld released a statement about the board’s decision saying, “SeaWorld’s entire Board of Directors has been intensely focused on building value for shareholders by implementing a well-defined plan of fundamental change.”
Joel Mandby, SeaWorld’s CEO, spoke with investors during the meeting, showing confidence towards growth driven direction the company is taking. Manby told shareholders, “We are focusing with particular intensity on efforts to drive growth across our parks. We believe that our innovative rides and attractions from 2017 are some of the most exciting in our history.”
Manby cited Electric Ocean and Kraken Unleashed as positive steps forward for SeaWorld Orlando. Electric Ocean is a nighttime fireworks and music show, and Kraken Unleashed is an updated virtual reality version of the popular ride where guest wear headsets over their eyes and ears. Kraken Unleashed opened to passholders Tuesday and will open to everyone else on Friday.
Source/Image: The Orlando Sentinel