Sunday, November 28, 2021

Six Flags Names Selim Bassoul as Company's New CEO

© Six Flags
Here is a piece of news that broke just before the IAAPA trade show but is worth still covering, Six Flags Entertainment has named a new CEO - Selim Bassoul.  This means that the former CEO, Michael Spanos, will have served in the top spot for just two years.  No direct reason for the change was given by the company, they simply stated that the replacement was effective immediately as Mr. Spanos has stepped down.

Mr. Bassoul was already serving as the company's Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, so he is by no means unfamiliar with Six Flags and their plans.  Ben Baldanza, an independent director for Six Flags and former CEO of Spirit Airlines, has replace Mr. Bassoul as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. 

“I am honored to serve as the next CEO of Six Flags, and I am excited to bring the magic back to our parks. We are a company led by a purpose–to make a positive and meaningful impact on everyone Six Flags touches,” said Mr. Bassoul. “I will do my best to enable our people to fulfill their passion to make a difference, and to harness their creativity to build on a shared vision for guest satisfaction and financial growth. I am passionate about empowering employees and serving our customers, and together with our team, I know we can set up Six Flags for a new level of success in the months and years ahead.” 


I know that press releases tend to be full of only good news and positivity, but I still find it interesting that Mr. Bassoul noted he wants to bring back the "magic" to the parks.  It was gone, I take it? It is often noted that the Six Flags parks are in need of a sprucing up, including general maintenance, paint and modernization of infrastructures.  There were grabs at this during Mr. Spanos' tenure, and perhaps Mr. Bassoul will amp up the speed of the changes planned.  Time will tell, it usually takes over a year to see the real changes a new CEO brings, so I wouldn't put too much stock in the 2022 season reflecting Mr. Bassoul much. 

Interestingly, part of Mr. Bassoul's employment agreement also states that he will purchase $10 million in Six Flags stock on the open market as soon as he starts.  His bonus is tied to overall financial performance, and on a personal level it sounds like he is willing to put up, well, $10 million of his own money to help motivate him to motivate the company to see great results.