Jim Atchison
Jim Atchison Photograph by Phelan Ebenhack — AP

Fired SeaWorld CEO is getting a splashy severance payment

Jan 06, 2015

Last month, SeaWorld announced that CEO Jim Atchison would be stepping down from his post. Turns out that move is worth $2.6 million.

According to the company's last proxy statement, filed in April, Atchison's severance pay totals nearly that much, with most of the payment coming in cash. The severance pay is equal to twice his yearly base salary, plus his targeted 2013 bonus.

Not bad for a CEO who's seen the value of his company's stock plummet 38% since the start of 2014.

Of course, Atchison is technically still at SeaWorld (seas). Though he is no longer the chief executive, he continues to serve as the company's vice chairman and a consultant on international expansion.

SeaWorld has had a bad few years, with park attendance down and the company's reputation taking a beating due to the controversial anti-SeaWorld documentary Blackfish.

News of Atchison's big payout was first reported by USA Today.

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