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Deborah Thomas to step aside as Ardent Leisure Chief Executive

Deborah Thomas to step aside as Ardent Leisure Chief Executive
April 27, 2017

Ardent Leisure has announced that Deborah Thomas is to stand down as its Chief Executive to take on the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer and Head of Operations for its Australian business.

The more comes just two years after Hutton moved from the Ardent Leisure board to an executive role and six months after the tragedy which claimed the lives of four people at Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld.

The company claims Thomas instigated the leadership change at the group, which will see former Nine Entertainment executive Simon Kelly take on the Chief Executive’s role.

In her new role Thomas will still oversee Ardent’s Australian operations including Dreamworld and AMF Bowling, which are expected to take a back seat to the company's growing US bowling operations, Main Event.

In a statement, the company advised that Thomas’ new role “will include particular focus on overseeing the recovery and revitalisation of Dreamworld.

The company said the move was part of its plan to transform the company into a "global entertainment company" with a focus on the US market.

Ardent Leisure Chairman George Vendaros praised Thomas’ achievements, stating “during Deborah's leadership our company has experienced an unprecedented level of reorientation and change and has positioned itself strongly for solid future growth.”

Ardent Leisure Chairman George Vendaros praised Thomas’ achievements, stating “during Deborah's leadership our company has experienced an unprecedented level of reorientation and change and has positioned itself strongly for solid future growth.”

The change will take effect from July when long-time Chief Financial Officer Richard Johnson will leave the company.

A spokeswoman for Ardent confirmed Thomas would not take an immediate pay cut.

The spokeswoman advised "annual salary reviews are by the remuneration committee every August and as a director, Deborah's package will be reported and agreed as per ASX rules.”

News of the announcement prompted Ardent's share price to lift by 2%, up to $2.055.

Ardent Leisure was hit with a $50 million loss in the wake of the fatalities at Dreamworld. 

4th April 2017 - ARDENT LEISURE CHIEF EXECUTIVE ‘APPEARED TO BE DUCKING FOR COVER’ FOLLOWING DREAMWORLD FATALITIES

23rd February 2017 - DREAMWORLD CLOSURE DRAGS ARDENT LEISURE TO $49 MILLION HALF YEAR LOSS 

12th January 2017 - DREAMWORLD REOPENS TWO FURTHER RIDES AFTER SAFETY CHECKS 

6th January 2017 - DREAMWORLD REVENUES DIP BY $6 MILLION SINCE REOPENING

10th December 2016 - GUESTS TRICKLE BACK AS DREAMWORLD REOPENS 

28th October 2016 - DREAMWORLD DEFENDS SAFETY RECORD AFTER REVELATIONS OF PAST BREACHES

27th October 2016 - ARDENT LEISURE IN TURMOIL AFTER DREAMWORLD RIDE TRAGEDY

25th October 2016 - ARDENT LEISURE SHARES FALL AFTER DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY

25th October 2016 - FOUR KILLED IN TRAGIC INCIDENT ON DREAMWORLD’S THUNDER RIVER RAPIDS RIDE

12th March 2015 - SHARE VOLATILITY AFTER ARDENT LEISURE ANNOUNCES NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE


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