PepsiCo executive Mike Spanos will take over as president and chief executive officer of Six Flags Entertainment Corp. upon the Nov. 18 retirement of Jim Reid-Anderson, who also serves on the amusement park’s board of directors. On the same date, Richard Roedel, who has been a board member since 2010, will take over Reid-Anderson’s role as chairman of the board, and Spanos will become a member, effective immediately.
“As a major investor in Six Flags, I have the utmost confidence in Mike’s ability to further supercharge our growth initiatives, continue to drive innovation, and deliver significant short, medium and long-term value for our stakeholders,” Reid-Anderson said in a statement.
Spanos, 55, had most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA).
AMENA is a sector with $6.0 billion in revenue that spans more than 43 countries with 20,000 direct and 115,000 indirect employees across the food and franchise beverage operations, contributing $1.2 billion in operating profit.
When named PepsiCo AMENA CEO in late 2017, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said, “We have a strong bench of senior executives, and we are thrilled to promote Mike, one of our most seasoned and proven leaders, into this important role.”
“Most recently, Mike has led our business in China through unprecedented change, growing our foods and beverage businesses and investing in our nutrition portfolio.
Under his leadership, the company set a new strategic direction that accelerated both top line and operating profit growth over multiple years through a transformational agenda, first in the Greater China region and then across the AMENA sector, generating significant shareholder value in relation to accelerated revenue, profit, and market share growth.
“I am thrilled to join the dedicated and talented employees of Six Flags,” says Spanos. “Jim has built an amazing legacy, and I look forward to the next horizon of growth. It is a privilege to be able to lead such a superb organization.”
Spanos will relocate to the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his family.
“Mike is a proven value creator and results-oriented leader, with a strong track-record in operationally intensive businesses both in North America and internationally,” says Jon Luther, Six Flags independent lead director. “His strong strategic ability, marketplace intuition, and people leadership skills make him ideal to lead Six Flags.”
Spanos previously held commercial general management roles of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo since 1993, first starting as a frontline territory manager in North America. He has served across multiple international markets for more than seven of his 25 years with PepsiCo, including assignments in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Before joining PepsiCo, Spanos served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987 to 1993. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy with a B.S. degree in history and received his M.S. degree in organizational behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.
Six Flags Entertainment Corp. is the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, with $1.5 billion in revenue and 26 parks across the United States, Mexico, and Canada.