Sunday, Jan 22, 2017
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Cedar Fair CEO gets indefinite contract extension

SANDUSKY — Cedar Fair LP, the owner of Cedar Point and 10 other amusement parks, likes its CEO Matt Ouimet and said Wednesday it plans to keep him around indefinitely.

The company held its annual shareholders meeting in Minneapolis at a hotel at the Mall of America.

Afterward, the company announced it had entered into a contract extension with Mr. Ouimet, 58, that has no designated expiration date.

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Under CEO Matt Ouimet’s leadership, Cedar Fair’s stock has tripled to nearly $60 a share.

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Cedar Fair’s current contract with Mr. Ouimet was to expire at the end of this year. He joined the amusement park chain, which also owns four water parks and five hotels, as its president in June, 2011, coming from Corinthian Colleges, a publicly held company that provides post-secondary technical, trade, and professional degree programs. He became Cedar Fair’s chief executive officer in January, 2012.

Under the former Disney executive’s leadership, Cedar Fair’s share price has tripled, going from $22.80 a share when he took over to nearly $60 a share recently. It closed Wednesday at $59.08 a share, up 39 cents on the New York Stock Exchanged.

Eric Affeldt, Cedar Fair’s board chairman, said the contract extension was well-deserved.

“Under Matt’s guidance, Cedar Fair has delivered record performance on all meaningful metrics,” he said. “He has assembled an impressive leadership team, championed creative innovation that enhances the guest experience, created substantial value for our investors and positioned the company for continued growth in the future.”

Cedar Fair spokesman Stacy Frole said the contract extension contains no significant changes from Mr. Ouimet’s previous contract but it has no expiration deadline.

The contract extension does not affect Mr. Ouimet’s compensation package, which is outlined in the company’s executive compensation plan.

In 2015 he received $9.3 million in compensation that included a base salary of $961,840, an incentive bonus of $1.7 million, and stock awards equaling $6.6 million. In 2014, his compensation was $11.6 million.

In a statement, Mr. Ouimet said he was pleased to receive the extension.

”I appreciate the opportunity Cedar Fair has given me and look forward to working with the board of directors, our leadership team and all of our associates to create even more fun for those we serve,” he said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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