Merlin Entertainments has announced a number of senior promotions, as its staff benefit from new opportunities available to them worldwide as a result of the group’s continued expansion.
New head office appointments include Russell Barnes (ex-Alton Towers) as “midway” divisional director and John Jakobsen as managing director of the Legoland Parks division, moving to the UK from his previous role at Legoland California.
Other changes include new Alton Towers divisional director Ian Crabbe (ex-Sea Life Birmingham); Xanadu attractions (Legoland Discovery Centre and Pepsi Globe) general manager, New Jersey, Colin Thomas (ex-London Dungeon); London Dungeons general manager Nikki Ratcliffe (ex-Chessington World of Adventures); Legoland California general manager Peter Ronchetti (ex-Thorpe Park); Thorpe Park divisional director Mike Vallis (ex-Chessington World of Adventures); Chessington divisional director David Smith (ex-Alton Towers finance director); Legoland Deutschland general manager Hans Aksel Pedersen (ex-Legoland Windsor).
Smith and Pedersen will both be taking up their first general manager roles, having served previously as finance director and marketing and sales director for their former parks. Other appointments will be announced soon.
Merlin has an excellent record for promoting internally, beginning with encouraging seasonal employees to apply for permanent positions. Every individual within the company also has a personal development plan. A graduate training scheme instigated three years ago has also proved tremendously popular.