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Seaworld CEO beaches himself after 7 months

Mike Cherico

The rough waters of Sea World have driven its CEO to find calmer confines after only seven months on the job.

Gustavo "Gus" Antorcha resigned from his job as the top executive and SeaWorld's board of directors late Monday.

"While I may have a difference of approach, I continue to believe in SeaWorld's strategy, mission, team and prospects," Antorcha said in a statement provided by the Orlando, Florida-based company.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Monday that Antorcha abruptly resigned after feuding with the board of directors. Meanwhile, the company has been on the rebound after being battered for years since the release of the documentary, "Blackfish" in 2013.

SeaWorld stock is up more than 36% year to date showing a revival under Antorcha, a former cruise line executive.

The rebound seemed unlikely in the wake of the release of "Blackfish," which highlighted the story of Tilikum, a captive orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer. The film spurred a revolt by consumers and animal rights activists over the confinement of the whales at SeaWorld.

Last September, the SEC announced that SeaWorld Entertainment would pay $5 million in fines “to settle fraud charges for misleading investors about the impact the documentary film Blackfish had on the company’s reputation and business,” according to an agency statement.

Currently, there is a class action lawsuit being heard against the company, which was filed by some shareholders. The investors claim SeaWorld executives misled them about how the film was hurting theme park attendance and revenue.

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