SeaWorld, which has seen its park attendance and stock price tumble amid backlash over the treatment of its killer whales, announced today that CEO Jim Atchison was stepping down and would be temporarily replaced by the company’s chairman while it looked for a successor. The Orlando Sentinel reports that a “spokesman would not say whether Atchison’s decision was voluntary.” But, as The Dodo notes, the change comes at a moment when the company’s share price has hit fresh lows since its IPO last year. Overall, the stock is down more than 40 percent since August.
Now, my guess is that picking a new prison warden for its orcas isn’t going to help SeaWorld reverse the public’s growing antipathy toward keeping massive, highly intelligent, and active mammals locked in an aquarium. But hey, you never know.