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Ardent Leisure Chief Executive Simon Kelly to leave after just four months in role

Ardent Leisure Chief Executive Simon Kelly to leave after just four months in role
November 9, 2017

Ongoing turmoil at Ardent Leisure, operator of Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld theme park, has continued with its Chief Executive Simon Kelly set to leave the company after less than five months in the role.

The change follows activist investor Dr Gary Weiss have taken on the role of Chair of Ardent’s board, backed by US-based executive Brad Richmond.

In a statement to the ASX, Ardent said Kelly's resignation from his roles as Chief Executive and Managing Director was effective immediately.

Kelly - a former senior executive at Nine Entertainment - took over from former Deborah Thomas in April in the wake of four fatalities at Dreamworld last year and a slump in its US based-operations.

With Dr Weiss reportedly taking a more hands-on role in the business, he advised in the statement to the ASX “the Board of Directors is disappointed with Simon's resignation and would like to thank him for his contribution to the Group and wish him well in the future.”

Ardent also released a trading update noting conditions at Dreamworld remained challenging, although the business was above "break-even" and operating in line with expectations.

Its US-based Main Event business reported marginally higher revenues compared to this time last year, although the result was flattened by the recent hurricanes that hit southern states.

Dr Weiss added “the Board continues to work collaboratively and remains unanimously committed to the previously announced strategic initiatives.”

Chief Financial Officer Geoff Richardson has assumed Kelly’s role on an interim basis, while board member Brad Richardson will take control of the US business.

Image: Simon Kelly.

26th October 2017 - DREAMWORLD MARKS RIDE TRAGEDY ANNIVERSARY WITH QUIET STAFF COMMEMORATION

21st October 2017 - QUEENSLAND POLICE SAY NO STAFF SHOULD BE PROSECUTED OVER 2016 DREAMWORLD DEATHS 

16th October 2017 - QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT PASSES INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER LAWS IN WAKE OF DREAMWORLD FATALITIES 

29th September 2017 - GARY WEISS TAKES ON CHAIRMAN’S ROLE AT ARDENT LEISURE

14th September 2017 - DREAMWORLD TO REMOVE MOUNTAIN SURROUNDING ITS EUREKA MOUNTAIN MINE RIDE

4th September 2017 - ARDENT LEISURE INVITES REBEL SHAREHOLDERS TO JOIN BOARD

27th August 2017 - DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY HIGHLIGHTS LEGAL DUTY OF CARE FOR THEME PARK GUESTS

23rd August 2017 - QUEENSLAND TO IMPLEMENT NEW SAFETY LAWS FOLLOWING DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY REPORT


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