Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Six Flags shake-up

As part of a series of major series of executive changes, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has named John M Duffey as its new chief financial officer and Lance C Balk as general counsel.

“I have previously worked with both John and Lance and I know that they will be outstanding additions to the Six Flags team,” says new Six Flags CEO Jim Reid-Anderson. “Both John and Lance have proven expertise in helping companies achieve their full potential following a successful financial restructuring. I am very much looking forward to collaborating with them to enhance the theme park experience for our guests and to continue improving the company’s financial and operational performance.”

Jeffrey Speed, former chief financial officer of Six Flags, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. James Coughlin, the company’s former general counsel, entered into a consulting agreement with effective July 28.

John Duffey previously served as executive vice-president and chief integration officer of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, while Lance Balk served as the same company’s senior vice-president and general counsel.

With the emergence of Six Flags from bankruptcy and with the new management team in place, upheaval was sure to follow. It has, as new park presidents have been named at four of the group’s parks.

John Fitzgerald is the new president at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, replacing Mark Kane. A 28-year veteran of the amusement park industry, Fitzgerald’s experience includes senior roles at Warner Bros Movie World in Germany (now Movie Park), Terra Mitica in Spain and Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Most recently he was managing partner of Catchment Attraction Management and Consulting Services.

Over at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, Bonnie Rabjohn is the new park president. She succeeds Jay Thomas, who is joining the Six Flags corporate team in Dallas. Rabjohn was most recently director of worldwide marketing for Warner Bros Consumer Products division but is no stranger to Magic Mountain, having previously served with Six Flags for over 25 years.

Dale Kaetzel is the new president at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo, California, succeeding Eric Gilbert. Kaetzel has served as a senior executive at four of the five former Paramount parks in North America, as well as a brief spell at the ill-fated Hard Rock Park (which became Freestyle Music Park). Along with Fitzgerald, he was a managing partner of Catchment Attraction Management and Consulting Services.

At Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts, Jason Freeman replaces Larry Litton as interim park president Freeman has over 25 years of experience in the theme park industry, most recently as Six Flags’ corporate director of safety and risk management.

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