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Six Flags announces Selim Bassoul as new president and CEO

Ben Baldanza, the former CEO of Spirit Airlines, has been elected as the new non-executive chairman of the board.

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Six Flags, the world’s largest regional theme park company, has named Selim Bassoul as its new chief executive officer and president, replacing Michael Spanos.

Effective immediately, Bassoul has taken over from Spanos, who stepped down after two years. Bassoul previously served as the non-executive chairman of the board and will remain a member 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,” Bassoul said. “We are a company led by a purpose – to make a positive and meaningful impact on everyone Six Flags touches.”

“I will do my best to enable our people to fulfil their passion to make a difference, and to harness their creativity to build on a shared vision for guest satisfaction and financial growth,” he added.

Michael Spanos steps down

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Bassoul is the former president, CEO and chairman of Middleby Corporation. He increased revenue from $100m to $2.7bn, adjusted operating income from $12m to $535m, and market capitalization from $100m to more than $6bn.

Additionally, Ben Baldanza, an independent director of Six Flags and the former CEO of Spirit Airlines, has been elected as the new non-executive chairman of the board.

“We are thrilled that Selim has agreed to help lead Six Flags into a new era of growth,” said Baldanza. “His long and exceptional track record as a public company CEO, his experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and inspiring personality make Selim the perfect CEO for Six Flags at this moment in time.”

‘New era of growth’ at Six Flags

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“We are particularly excited about his proven ability to motivate teams, to delight customers, and to drive financial performance,” he added.

Baldanza currently serves as CEO of Diemacher LLC. Prior to that, he was CEO, president and director of Spirit Airlines. Under his leadership, Spirit Airlines increased its revenue from $500m to $2.1bn.

“In addition, the board would like to thank Mike Spanos for his tireless efforts as he successfully shepherded Six Flags through an exceptionally challenging time through the Covid crisis, including the safe reopening of all our parks,” Baldanza said.

“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,” Bassoul added.

Images: Six Flags

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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