Zamperla, a leading ride manufacturer, has announced that Antonio Zamperla JR is stepping into the role of CEO from this month.
Zamperla has announced that Antonio Zamperla JR, the grandson of the founder, Antonio Zamperla, and son of the company’s President, Alberto Zamperla, has been appointed to the role of CEO. In addition, Valerio Ferrari will take on the role of Chief Sales Officer and Adam Sandy will be the new Sales & Marketing Director for the strategic roller coaster division.
Antonio Zamperla JR has been working alongside his father for the past 20 years as the company continued to innovate. Now, he will move from the position of Chief Innovation Officer to CEO. During his time at Zamperla, the company has grown to be an employer of more than 400 people with a turnover of €100 million. The industry has evolved in this time too, seeing the introduction of artificial intelligence and robotics in the design and manufacturing processes.
Zamperla looks to the future
Notable successes for the company during the past two decades include the relaunch of Coney Island through the US-based company Central Amusement International as well as the fact that it has secured supply contracts for key players like Disney, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros.
“Today we can proudly say that there is no amusement park in the world without at least a Zamperla ride,” says Alberto Zamperla. “However, the near future, even following the global pandemic that has hit us, needs extraordinary interventions to be able to change gear, manage the next challenges and push innovation to the maximum.”
“I think that the appointment of Antonio as CEO, the return of Valerio and the arrival of Adam are exactly the extraordinary interventions that our company needs.
“My father founded Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. in 1966 and entrusted me with the objective of making our company international. Now it is high time for the third generation to bring the contribution that new technologies and new processes can guarantee to a reality like ours.
“Antonio will be supported by two out-of-class managers who will make it possible to attain that mixed family and managerial governance model in which we have always believed. In America Antonio’s brother Alessandro Zamperla, CEO of Central Amusement International Inc. which manages Coney Island in NY and the overseas business, remains a firm point of reference.
“We will be ready to ride the recovery after the ongoing pandemic! For fifty years our company has anticipated changes in society and the economy; this is certainly one of our strengths, one of the factors that has allowed us to dialogue with entertainment giants such as Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., Lego, etc.”
Both Antonio Zamperla senior and Alberto Zamperla have been inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame, alongside greats such as Walt Disney himself.
New management team members
Ferrari holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and most recently worked as Co-CEO for Intamin. He now returns to Zamperla, where he worked from 1991 to through 2018, contributing projects like the first Zamperla amusement park in Central Park, Victorian Gardens NYC, the reopening of Coney Island and the relaunch of Minitalia Leolandia in Italy.
“The assignments carried out in recent years have allowed me to look at the sector from a new point of view, to acquire ideas and skills that have allowed me to improve the vision of future scenarios,” says Ferrari.
“It is in Zamperla that I want to bring all this, the company that for many years I have considered as my second family, which has a brand recognized all over the world and a very strong value proposition, trying to apply the most innovative technologies present on the market to the entertainment industry, to continue improving the end-user experience without forgetting safety, efficiency and maintainability.
Sandy has spent his whole career in the attractions industry, including 20 years at Ride Entertainment. During this time, he has established himself as an expert in the field.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Zamperla team, a company that has played a vital role in the entertainment industry around the world,” says Sandy. “It is on the Zamperla rides that my children had their first incredible experiences. I am delighted to be part of this new chapter in Zamperla’s history that will bring innovation, technology and creativity to the roller coaster industry.”
Creating unique experiences
“When the world is no longer afraid and is finally free to have fun again, it will begin to immerse itself in the places where magic, fairy tale and adrenaline come together to create unique and intense experiences,” says Alberto Zamperla. “Zamperla will then be ready with its people, its technology, its design, its taste and its skills, in two words, its Italian talent.
“We will be able to give people again the opportunity to dream and we will contribute to the economic reconstruction of our region and our country.”
Antonio Zamperla JR has been preparing for the role of CEO at the company for his entire life, growing up surrounded by Zamperla rides, engineers and designers.
“I’ve been trying the rides with my father since I was a child and my grandfather has always been one of my superheroes,” he says. “I’ve never been afraid of even the most adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, so I’m not afraid of this new challenge that I will face with determination, commitment and the spirit of the Zamperla family.”
Last month, Zamperla announced the launch of The Big WaveZ, a new ride which combines a shoot-the-chute attraction and drop tower with an interactive video game section