Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet to Leave Post in Early 2018

© Cedar Fair
In what I would classify as a rather surprising announcement, Cedar Fair has revealed that current CEO, Matt Ouimet, will leave the position of chief executive officer effective January 1st, 2018.  Mr. Ouimet will immediately transition into holding the newly-created title of executive chairman of the board of directors.

Mr. Ouimet took over the position of CEO at Cedar Fair at the start of 2013, making his tenure in the role almost exactly 5 years.

"I have very much appreciated the opportunity to serve as the CEO of Cedar Fair and I am proud of what our team has accomplished," said Ouimet.  "The market value of Cedar Fair has increased by more than $2.6B during my time at the company.  This performance provides us with a solid foundation to build upon and a positive outlook for the future."

© Cedar Fair
Replacing Mr. Ouimet will be Richard Zimmerman, who is the company's current president and chief operating officer.  He has held various positions with Cedar Fair through the years, joining them when the original Paramount Park acquisition took place.  Along with corporate positions and a Regional Vice President title, he also was the president and general manager of Kings Dominion.

"Having the opportunity to lead Cedar Fair is a distinct yet humbling honor," said Zimmerman.  "We are fortunate to have an exceptional organization with a deep and talented leadership team.  We are also fortunate to be a leader in an industry that continues to have the potential to grow and expand.   I look forward to the opportunity to continue broadening our offerings to better serve our guests, as well as providing long-term value for our investors."

No reason for Mr. Ouimet's transition out of the CEO position was given in the press release, so it is unclear if he is moving on to another company or simply retiring early.  Either way, he had many praises for Mr. Zimmerman who has worked with him for many years.  Cedar Fair's release states that the transition will allow them to pursue "its ongoing strategy of investing in broadening entertainment offerings and new attractions to create greater excitement for guests, and positioning itself to produce strong results for many years to come."