SeaWorld Entertainment appoints former Carnival Cruise executive as new CEO

Gus Antorcha becomes CEO, John Reilly appointed COO

Gus Antorcha
Gus Antorcha

ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld Entertainment appointed Gustavo "Gus" Antorcha as the new chief executive officer effective Feb. 18, according to a news release from the theme park and entertainment company.

Antorcha was most recently the chief operating officer of travel company Carnival Cruise Lines. Previously he was a partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy firm that worked within the travel and leisure industries, according to a news release.

"His unique combination of strategy, operations and leadership skills make him the right person to lead SeaWorld through its next phase of growth," Yoshikazu Maruyama, chairman of the board of directors for SeaWorld, said of Antorcha. "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 said he was impressed by SeaWorld's commitment to wildlife conservation and education in addition to the entertainment brand.

"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," Antorcha said. "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."

Former SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby stepped down last February after the company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $20.4 million. John Reilly served as interim CEO during the search for a new chief executive.

SeaWorld officials Tuesday also announced that Reilly was appointed chief operating officer. 

A new headquarters for SeaWorld Entertainment is under construction in Orange County, where the company has two theme parks.

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