After only seven months at the helm—and 20 years with the company—Mark Pauls is resigning from his position as president with SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica theme parks. This week, the Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment said that his decision to resign is not necessarily associated with any other job offer.
This is just the latest in a handful of departures from SeaWorld Orlando, a trend that also includes CEO Joel Manby, last February, as well as former Orlando parks Chief Jim Dean, who was president before Pauls. Dean, however, left SeaWorld to head up St. Pete/Clearwater’s tourism agency.
In addition, SeaWorld laid off an unspecified quantity of employees, only two weeks ago, making sure to specifically note that Pauls’ choice to leave the company is not related to the recent layoffs. In a simple public statement, at the time, SeaWorld spokeswoman Suzanne Pelisson Beasley commented, “Like most companies, we regularly evaluate operations to ensure we are properly organized for performance and efficiency. As part of those ongoing efforts, SeaWorld has eliminated a limited number of positions.”
Beasley did not indicate which departments would receive the cuts.
In reference to Pauls’ departure, Beasley goes on to say, “We thank Mark for his valuable contributions during his tenure and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
With Pauls vacating his position, SeaWorld Entertainment has chosen to promote Kyle Miller, the current president of Discovery Cove, to operate all three of the company’s Orlando parks; at least, in the interim. Pelisson, then, asserts “Kyle has held a number of operations and leadership positions at SeaWorld parks and at the corporate level, delivering results over the course of his more than two decades with the company. We have a strong leadership team and strategy in place and remain focused on implementing and accelerating that strategy to realize the exciting opportunities in front of us.”
Former Carnival Cruise Line executive Gus Antorcha was named as CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment earlier this year. While this is not necessarily related to Pauls decision to leave the company, it is another example of the upper-level overhaul SeaWorld has been going through over the past few years.