Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Merlin appoints new chairman

Europe’s number one attraction operator has a new non-executive chairman. Sir John Sunderland, former chief executive and chairman of Cadbury Schweppes and president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), replaces Peter Phillipson.

“We are really looking forward to working with John,” says Merlin CEO Nick Varney. “His considerable experience at the top of British industry and chairing a successful multi-brand consumer business will be immensely valuable to us. Merlin is a high growth business with a balanced portfolio of uniquely branded attractions.”

Phillipson, who spent almost three years as non-executive chairman and seven years as chief executive of The Tussauds Group will pursue other interests within private equity backed businesses and with The Children With Special Needs Foundation.

“The board would like to thank Peter for the enormous contribution he has mad,” adds Varnet. “His deep experience of the leisure sector and his wise counsel were invaluable through the process of integrating Merlin and the Tussauds business and as we have gone from strength to strength in the wake of that deal. We will miss him and we wish him well for the future.

Pictured above: Merlin’s new non-executive chairman Sir John Sunderland (in the background) is pictured with the company’s CEO Nick Varney.

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