Six Flags looks to new execs for thrilling performance…

September 16, 2010

With higher revenues and a lower debt load following its emergence from Chapter 11 (reorganization) bankruptcy, things are looking up at Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (SIX). And with its latest round of executive appointments, announced with this 8-K and several related exhibits, all filed September 13, the board must believe that it has the right team in place.

The first agreement is an amendment to the company’s employment agreement with Al Weber, Jr., its Chief Operating Officer. Weber’s salary was officially raised to $800,000 per year, which is actually the amount he earned while he filled in as President and Interim Chief Executive Officer (per his May 11, 2010 employment agreement). According to that agreement, though, Weber’s salary was supposed to be reduced to a number “not… less than $600,000″ after he returned to simply serving as the COO. But now he gets to keep the higher paycheck, as well as 64,286 options to buy shares of common stock. The company also agreed to pay him a housing allowance of $7,500 a month through July, 2011 (for housing in the Dallas metropolitan area), and up to $3,000 to pay legal fees for drafting the amendment.

Six Flags also filed its new employment agreement with John Duffey, its new Executive Vice President and CFO. Duffey – who previously served in executive roles at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and Dade Behring, Inc., which Siemens AG acquired – will receive a base salary of $550,000 per year and a target annual bonus of $412,500. In addition, Duffey received 21,429 RSUs and 150,000 stock options.

Lance Balk, the new Executive Vice President/General Counsel, also comes to Six Flags after working for nearly four years at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. His employment agreement provides that the company will pay him a base salary of no less than $500,000 per year, and he is eligible for a target annual bonus of $375,000. Balk got an equity award of 20,000 RSUs, as well as options to purchase 80,000 shares of the company’s common stock. If Six Flags achieves certain EBITDA goals, both Balk and Duffey stand to gain another 20,000 and 50,000 RSUs, respectively.

Just last month, Six Flags announced the appointment of James Reid-Anderson as its new Chairman/President/CEO. Like Duffey and Balk, Reid-Anderson also brings executive experience from Dade Behring (later Siemens), where he held the top jobs in the company.

After reporting a strong second quarter last month (discussed thoroughly in this article), the new team has an opportunity to build on that progress and give Six Flags’ current shareholders a few thrills to smile about.

Image source: respres via flickr

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