SeaWorld Gave Execs Almost $7M in Stocks While Furloughing Workers During Pandemic

Furloughed workers have not been paid since March 31st

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While nearly all employees of a theme park company based out of Central Florida remain furloughed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a federal government filing shows executives have received promotions and nearly $7 million in stock options.

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reported by NBC affiliate WESH-TV show that SeaWorld paid out the stock options - totaling $6.8 million – to “recognize contributions and long-term goals” during the crisis.

Chief Financial Officer Marc Swanson, who was named interim CEO after former leader Serge Rivera resigned from the Orlando based company after just five months over decisions made by the company’s board, received nearly $1.5 million in stock according to filings.

SeaWorld’s interim COO was awarded $1.31 million and other payouts range from $910,000 to $1.18 million for six executives, according to filings.

At the same time, furloughed workers have not been paid since March 31st.

The company has furloughed 90 percent of the workers at its 12 theme parks and water parks across the country while saying executives have taken a 20 percent pay cut during the pandemic according to a March filing.

SeaWorld did not respond to the station’s request for comment.

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