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Six Flags New President & CEO

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby Sven18 on October 24th, 2019, 3:56 pm
https://investors.sixflags.com/news-and ... -211409223

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, today announced that it has appointed Mike Spanos as President and Chief Executive Officer effective November 18, 2019, and as a member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Mr. Spanos will be relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his family.

The company’s announcement follows a thorough search process led by a special committee of the Board of Directors. Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO, will resign as a director and an officer of the company effective November 18, 2019. As of that date, Richard Roedel, who has served on the Board of Directors since December, 2010, will be appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Spanos, 55, most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA). AMENA is a sector with $6.0 billion in revenue that spans more than 43 countries with 20,000 direct and 115,000 indirect employees across food and franchise beverage operations, contributing $1.2 billion in operating profit. Under his leadership, the company set a new strategic direction that accelerated both top line and operating profit growth over multiple years through a transformational agenda, first in the Greater China region and then across the AMENA sector, generating significant shareholder value in relation to accelerated revenue, profit, and market share growth.

“Mike is a proven value creator and results-oriented leader, with a strong track-record in operationally intensive businesses both in North America and internationally,” said Jon Luther, Six Flags Independent Lead Director. “His strong strategic ability, marketplace intuition and people leadership skills make him ideal to lead Six Flags.”

Mr. Reid-Anderson added, “As a major investor in Six Flags, I have the utmost confidence in Mike’s ability to further supercharge our growth initiatives, continue to drive innovation, and deliver significant short, medium and long-term value for our stakeholders.”

“I am thrilled to join the dedicated and talented employees of Six Flags,” said Mr. Spanos. “Jim has built an amazing legacy, and I look forward to the next horizon of growth. It is a privilege to be able to lead such a superb organization.”

Mr. Spanos previously held commercial general management roles of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo since 1993, first starting as a frontline territory manager in North America. He has served across multiple international markets for more than seven of his 25 years with PepsiCo, including assignments in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Before joining PepsiCo, Mr. Spanos served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987 to 1993. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy with a B.S. degree in History, and received his M.S. degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Postby Sven18 on October 24th, 2019, 4:04 pm
1 Day after a miss on earnings report. Stock down 30% year to date and got hammered 12% after bad report yesterday. JRA made no hint of a announcement coming soon on the conf call. Got to wonder if the 12% yesterday and 1.6% today expedited the announcement. People are just not buying what JRA is selling for sometime on the conf calls & even wehn he was on the financial shows yesterday trying to spin yesterday. Yes, JRA it was a record revenue Q3, but 1M more in revenue with 400K more guests is not good,with 5M less net income
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on October 25th, 2019, 7:27 am
Sven - do you think Spanos was brought on due to his experience in the Asia, Middle East and North Africa? Perhaps Six Flags is going to ramp up it's international expansion, either by license deals or new parks?

I'm a little concerned because he has no experience in the theme park industry. This reminds me of when Sears brought in a former CEO of fast food chain (Aylwin Lewis) to be CEO of Sears. That didn't work out too well.

Maybe food operations will improve at least :)
Last edited by CoasterRiderSC on October 25th, 2019, 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Sven18 on October 25th, 2019, 9:10 am
CoasterRiderSC wrote:Sven - do you think Spanos was brought on due to his experience in the Asia, Middle East and North Africa? Perhaps Six Flags is going to ramp up it's international expansion, either by license deals or new parks?

I'm a little concerned because he has no experience in the theme park industry.

Maybe food operations will improve at least :)


SF claimed originally they could have more than 20 China parks(theme/water) by 2020 in China with the current partner. These openings are clearly not going as smoothly as they thought. They commented on it on the conf call a bit talking about dealing with central planning of Chinese government. The thing is the Chinese partner is the one doing the nuts & bolts, not SF. The foreign licensing deals are not going to be as quick money as SF planned as parks are getting altered all the time. Now one of the parks in the Chongquing 2 park complex will be in 2021 instead of 2020. Another park they are not claiming pre opening revenue on any more b/c of delays. While Spanos has experience in the region the foreign licensing deals are such a small part of the revenue(3%) and even in the near future the domestic parks one would think would be priority. Trying to get organic growth in the domestics parks is the key and what analysts have been harping on for about 2 years. Spanos having no experience in the industry is not a big of deal, JRA had no experience in theme parks.
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Postby JackGlass on October 25th, 2019, 1:35 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbm8eHqcxhs

This is a 20 year old presentation video from Premier Parks. Six Flags America was getting 2 million guests in 1999

In 2018, Six Flags America only had 1.1 million guests. The attendance was nearly cut in half over the past 20 years. Despite it being in a large population center.

Why? Six Flags let the parks appearance go to hell and they haven't added an attraction that actually makes people want to go there since 2001. Iron Wolf and Ragin Cajun are just hand me downs from Great America. Iron Wolf absolutely sucks and Ragin Cajun is just a spinning mouse. Nothing that's going to give the locals a reason to go there.

Hopefully the new CEO has a plan to fuel organic growth. In Six Flags Americas case, all they would need to do is get it back to its 1999 levels and it would be a major improvement, lol
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Postby staticshadows on October 25th, 2019, 2:05 pm
JackGlass wrote:In 2018, Six Flags America only had 1.1 million guests. The attendance was nearly cut in half over the past 20 years. Despite it being in a large population center.

Do you have an actual source for this number? Don't say wikipedia.
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Postby JackGlass on October 25th, 2019, 2:19 pm
staticshadows wrote:
JackGlass wrote:In 2018, Six Flags America only had 1.1 million guests. The attendance was nearly cut in half over the past 20 years. Despite it being in a large population center.

Do you have an actual source for this number? Don't say wikipedia.


I got it from this video, which came from the 2018 annual report

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npAnHqWCY8U
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Postby staticshadows on October 25th, 2019, 2:34 pm
JackGlass wrote:I got it from this video, which came from the 2018 annual report

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npAnHqWCY8U


Six Flags does not release attendance numbers and it's not in the 2018 annual report. A youtube video is not a credible source.
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Postby Sven18 on October 25th, 2019, 4:11 pm
JackGlass wrote:
staticshadows wrote:
JackGlass wrote:In 2018, Six Flags America only had 1.1 million guests. The attendance was nearly cut in half over the past 20 years. Despite it being in a large population center.

Do you have an actual source for this number? Don't say wikipedia.


I got it from this video, which came from the 2018 annual report

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npAnHqWCY8U


The numbers he listed were from old data with questionable sourcing. He got the 1.18M from TheParkDatabase website which had that listed for 2005. http://www.theparkdb.com//results/in/name/25
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Postby Sven18 on October 25th, 2019, 4:21 pm
SIx Flags stock down another 2% today so people weren't overly impressed with the announcement. Often a stock bleeding will show a bounce with a new CEO announcement. The stock got a couple of price cuts post earnings from 1 year target from $62 to $55. Considering the stock is just over $43 after today that still an expected 25% gain to get to $55. This might be a buying opportunity, but not sure its hit the lows yet.
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Postby coasterfanatic on November 2nd, 2019, 11:13 am
To make a real difference, the new CEO needs to drop the “something new in every park every year”.

If you look at the annual report, Cedar Fair spends about the same amount of money on a yearly basis as Six Flags does on capital investments. The difference? Cedar Fair only adds something new to a small handful parks each year. This allows them to spend bigger on the parks they do add it (like Orion at Kings Island)

However, they did promote a board member to the chairman title. The new ceo will only be the President and CEO. Not sure what the difference of each title is but I’m not expecting radical changes. The board likely chose someone who was going to stay with six Flags current business model.


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Postby Sven18 on November 4th, 2019, 4:58 pm
coasterfanatic wrote:To make a real difference, the new CEO needs to drop the “something new in every park every year”.

If you look at the annual report, Cedar Fair spends about the same amount of money on a yearly basis as Six Flags does on capital investments. The difference? Cedar Fair only adds something new to a small handful parks each year. This allows them to spend bigger on the parks they do add it (like Orion at Kings Island)

However, they did promote a board member to the chairman title. The new ceo will only be the President and CEO. Not sure what the difference of each title is but I’m not expecting radical changes. The board likely chose someone who was going to stay with six Flags current business model.


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Cedar Fair announced in their August analyst day which explained their strategy going forward that they are going to give every park something every year. They did it for 2020 and that did amount to some parks just getting a festival event...Ie....Valley Fair getting Grand Carnivale. Cedar Fair spends about 10M+ more on core investment but spends heavily on their hotel/resorts, etc... Total Capex for Cedar Fair is thus far beyond SF, FY 2018 Cedar Fair total Capex was 190M, SF 133M. I'm don't think any SF patrons besides enthusiasts are concerned with the smaller coasters, less Capex rides, etc... Whether building a 30M coaster will raise revenue more than splitting that 30M over 5 parks. The big coaster is expected of Cedar Fair over the last decade & not of SF post bankruptcy.

Six Flags' problem is that they need to get more from each customer, raise per capital spending. The memberships push was meant to address this. SF is last in per cap compared to Cedar Fair & Sea World Entertainment. Whiles SF has converted the easy convertible to memberships they seem to be having more difficulty in converting some. They mentioned in the Q3 call increasing promos..ie...eliminating the processing/deposit fees & offering the free gold to platinum membership upgrade.

If SF can't raise per caps b/c too many customers are used to the lower prices than they need to get a new major revenue stream. Cedar Fair has the resort/hotels(2 new hotels opening & renovating newly bought resort), 1 sports complex, another opening Jan 2020, which all bolster out of park revenue by 150M+ in FY 2018. That out of park money is just going to keep growing as these new assets come on line. I don't think it would be wise to go into hotel/resort business for SF b/c it's very Capex intensive, which is something they are not keen on. The foreign license deals could be an eventual 200M/yr boost for SF, but those are taking along time to come on line with delays, cancellations of a few, etc... I got the development survey a few months back about the entertainment centers, so SF is surely looking at new out of park possible revenue streams.

The new CEO is very very unlikely to make major changes. From the comments earlier during the search process they seemed to be looking for someone to continue the implementation of the current plan of memberships, foreign license deals, selective acquisitions(operating leases), increase meal plan penetration among the active base. The selection was made by the board & JRA as a major stock holder said he would be involved. JRA had 250M worth of stock Jan 2019, with the 25% + loss in share value he's lost 60M+ this year in paper value. Picking the right person protects his wealth.
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