SeaWorld CEO Gustavo Antorcha steps down after 7 months

CFO Marc Swanson will act as interim CEO

Gus Antorcha
Gus Antorcha

ORLANDO, Fla. – After seven months on the job, SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Gustavo Antorcha resigned after a disagreement over decision-making at the theme park company.

Antorcha was appointed CEO and to the board of directors Feb. 18, replacing Joel Manby, who was the theme park and entertainment company's CEO for about three years. John Reilly served as interim CEO for about a year before Antorcha was hired.

Both executives were brought in to help the company rebuild its image after fallout from the documentary "Blackfish."

According to a filling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Antorcha announced his intent to step down Friday due to a conflict in the company's handing of decision-making.

"Mr. Antorcha informed the company that his resignation was due to disagreements over the board's involvement in the decision-making at the company," according to the SEC filling.

Marc Swanson, the company's chief financial officer, was appointed interim CEO. Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy will become interim CFO, according to a news release. Swanson has been with the company for 19 years and Gulacsy has worked for SeaWorld for seven years.

SeaWorld officials said the leadership changes were effectively immediately.

[MORE COVERAGE: SeaWorld exec admits he did not tell the truth about 'Blackfish']

"We thank Gus for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors," SeaWorld Chairman Scott Ross said. "We know Marc and Elizabeth will be excellent leaders in their new roles and will continue to successfully drive the business forward."

Antorcha is not entitled to and will not seek any severance benefits, according to the SEC filling.

Prior to becoming SeaWorld's CEO, Antorcha was the chief operating officer of travel company Carnival Cruise Lines.

News 6 investigator Mike DeForest contributed to this report.

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