Movie Helps Sink SeaWorld Chief
Atchison steps down amid dropping attendance
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2014 4:37 AM CST
Jim Atchison, right, president & CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, speaks during a news conference in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(Newser) – As SeaWorld attendances drop and the share price heads toward Davy Jones' locker, the theme park company's chief executive is stepping down. CEO and President Jim Atchison will depart in January and an undisclosed number of workers will be laid off, reports the Orlando Sentinel. A company spokesman wouldn't say whether the board had asked Atchison to step aside.

The company, which operates 11 aquatic theme parks around the world, has seen its share price drop 44% this year. It admitted earlier this year that the documentary Blackfish, which looked at the 2010 killing of trainer Dawn Brancheau by an orca, had hurt attendance, the BBC reports. (The movie also caused Pixar to rewrite the ending of its upcoming Finding Nemo sequel.)