Matthew A Ouimet has been named as the next president and CEO of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Ouimet, 53, will succeed 70-year-old Dick Kinzel as chief executive officer of the North American park chain when he retires on January 3, 2012.
Ouimet is a 20-year veteran of the amusement park and hospitality industry, spending 17 of the years with the Walt Disney Company. During his tenure with the global entertainment giant, he served as senior vice-president, finance and business development, and chief financial officer of the Disney Development Company, executive general manager of Disney Vacation Club, president of Disney Cruise Line, and president of the Disneyland Resort in California.
In 2006, Ouimet was recruited to serve as the president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, overseeing 900 owned, managed and franchised hotel properties in 95 countries, including the Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels and St Regis brands. In 2008, he joined Corinthian Colleges.
“Without question, Matt is the right leader to join Cedar Fair now as it builds momentum on its renewed path of sustained, profitable growth in 2011 and beyond,” says C Thomas Harvie, the group’s chairman. “Throughout his career, Matt has proven to be a critical thinker and effective business strategist with an enviable track record for identifying growth opportunities within existing businesses in the amusement park and resort industry. His broad and diverse background in resort development, finance, marketing and operations will allow him to integrate quickly into Cedar Fair.”