Breaking news: Sources tell CoasterBuzz that Jack Falfas has resigned as COO of Cedar Fair

Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 6:47 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Two sources external to Cedar Fair have made credible statements to CoasterBuzz indicating that chief operating officer Jack Falfas has resigned from his position with the company. We've sent e-mail to official channels to confirm, and are waiting for a response. Again, this has not been confirmed by the company. Stay tuned...

According to the Cedar Fair Web site, Falfas has been with the company for 33 years and served as COO since 2005.

Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:11 AM
LuvRaptor's avatar

If I had been at Knotts you would have had to offer me the world to get me to move back to Sandusky again. Uck! I love Cali! :)

I wouldnt mind seeing Bill Spehn given the position although he is amazing in park operations! :)

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2020 :)


'00 '02 '03 '09 Raptor Crew
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Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:14 AM

So I'm hearing that Jack's management contract was renewed for another 3 years at the shareholder meeting Monday. Lends itself more to a problem with Kinzel or company policy than an unexpected health issue.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 12:28 PM

Knowing nothing but what I read on the Intertubes, he may have just gotten tired of waiting---and the recent extension of Kinzel's contract may have been the straw.

But, this is all idle speculation. As I say, i don't know anything.


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Sunday, June 13, 2010 12:29 PM

Ah, but you know that you don't know anything. Therefore, you know something. ;)


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Sunday, June 13, 2010 2:26 PM
Jeff's avatar

One of the conversations I had yesterday was about whether or not Jack was as much of a micromanager, and if he was, was it by order of the king. I remember when he got the COO gig that a lot of people were pretty pleased, as he seemed to be very well respected by folks at Knott's. On one hand, especially given a more California mindset, I can't imagine him being all in the grill of subordinates, but ride ops at CP have also said he's sent members of their crew home early, a bizarre action for the executive of a (formerly) billion dollar company.

And I already like this "Corporate Puppet" guy. :)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 2:46 PM

Jack has had some health issues in the last month, I heard what the Email he sent out yesterday said, basically it was sent to only a handfull of people and read " as of this time im no longer with the company, here is my personal cell number and email address, if you need anything let me know..... short and sweet,,,,i wish him the best of health and luck in whatever he does now, if you were friends with him he was a good guy and gave alot..

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 4:30 PM

If the COO of a company resigns...doesn't it warrant a press release, even on the weekend?

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 5:09 PM
Jeff's avatar

Good question. I pinged the investor e-mail and another contact at the corporate level, but no response.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 5:40 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

There is a business reporter from the Cleveland PD who usually has been on top of all the stuff going on at Cedar Fair, nothing was reported there this weekend either.

I am confident Jack did not quit specifically because of health issues (other than being sick of dealing with Dick and the stress that causes), he would lose his health insurance by quitting when he simply could have gone on a leave of absence to deal with whatever might have been the problem.

I also suspect this blind-sided Kinzel and he has ordered no information be released through the weekend. Probably there was a argument/disagreement between Falfas and Kinzel, Falfas resigns, Kinzel is shocked and wants to let things "cool down" for several days before the company "actively" receives the resignation. Those two have too much history together for this to be a done and over matter. I would think a lot of people are doing some serious soul-searching this weekend at Cedar Fair.

Last edited by mlnem4s, Sunday, June 13, 2010 5:42 PM
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Sunday, June 13, 2010 5:53 PM

I pray that Al Weber will be the company's next COO. He had Paramount's day to day operations down to a perfect and admirable science.

I suspect CF Regional VP, Phil Bender, will be offered the job first though.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 6:13 PM

I have had the pleaseure to speak to both of Falfas and Kinzel in the past several IAAPA's. I never would have suspected any differences, but I no longer work for Jack, nor do I live in Sandusky.

When Jack and I discussed KBF, he said "There are a lot of good people there". Though, this past IAAPA, I only saw Jack, and he didn't speak of anything beyond my own work experience. But, again, it was Las Vegas, and there are many distractions.

However, Jack is a no-nonsense, and while I doubt he would move to Six Flags, I know a lot of people who would follow him.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 6:24 PM

Of course if there is a non-compete clause in his (or anyone he wants to take with him) contract, Falfas would not be going to Six Flags--at least not until the non-compete expires.


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 10:56 PM

mlnem4s said:
There is a business reporter from the Cleveland PD who usually has been on top of all the stuff going on at Cedar Fair, nothing was reported there this weekend either.

I am confident Jack did not quit specifically because of health issues (other than being sick of dealing with Dick and the stress that causes), he would lose his health insurance by quitting when he simply could have gone on a leave of absence to deal with whatever might have been the problem.

I also suspect this blind-sided Kinzel and he has ordered no information be released through the weekend. Probably there was a argument/disagreement between Falfas and Kinzel, Falfas resigns, Kinzel is shocked and wants to let things "cool down" for several days before the company "actively" receives the resignation. Those two have too much history together for this to be a done and over matter. I would think a lot of people are doing some serious soul-searching this weekend at Cedar Fair.

Unless Falfas left with one of the STR boats in tow, Kinzel may not have even noticed. He may have been at one of the stands checking the temperature of the oil they're using to make fries.

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Monday, June 14, 2010 12:34 AM
LostKause's avatar

RGB, you still crack me up, after all this time! What a funny visual you just gave me.

I want to hear the real story, like yesterday!


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Monday, June 14, 2010 3:30 AM

Jack T. Falfas a micro-manager......? Do fish swim? Do birds fly?
I'm sure not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask how he does it. A control junkie? maybe. Jack was part of the daily operations of every park CF has. Decisions didn't happen at the parks without Jack knowing about them. I think many higher-ups have VERY easy jobs because they don't have the responsibilities of their titles. Jack made their decisions for them.

Allot of people at many parks are going to feel VERY, very alone without Jack a phone call away.

Interesting times to be watching from the sidelines.....

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Monday, June 14, 2010 10:09 AM

Maybe after 33 years with them he's just tired and wants to move on?


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Monday, June 14, 2010 11:04 AM

I'm not buying. That is a decision to make in November...not early June.

In the last hour Jack's name and bio has been removed from the Executive Officers page of the Cedar Fair website. No press release...but that seems pretty "official" to me.

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Monday, June 14, 2010 12:12 PM

This smells a lot like a hasty, unfriendly departure. That somewhat surprises me, as Jack always struck me as a "yes man" and definitely next up for the CEO. If the contract extension and realizing his ascension to CEO was put on hold beyond a comfortable age, he would have gracefully stepped down back in 06 or 07 when the extension happened. Departure for health reasons would have certainly resulted in a nice press release by now as well...


Something I just thought of; wouldn't something like this require at least a notice to unitholders, as the status of executives is something the SEC considers important to affecting value? The health issues angle made me think of the Steve Jobs situation with Apple and the resulting mini-investigation by the SEC over the reporting of health issues. Obviously not an apples to apples scenario, but I would think something like this would need to be reported with at least the SEC...*heads off to check the EDGAR database*

Last edited by maXairMike, Monday, June 14, 2010 12:20 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Monday, June 14, 2010 12:18 PM

I agree - that makes it official.

I wonder if they will just say he "retired" like Dan Keller, GM of Cedar Point, did back in 2005.

If he resigned due to health reasons or on good terms, I don't know why they'd be keeping things so hush hush. I say there was some sort of drama. Either that or he has knowledge that ship will sink sooner rather than later and doesn't want to drown with it.


-Matt

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Monday, June 14, 2010 2:16 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I find it odd that no press release has come forth. Another show of just what Dick & Co. think of their shareholders.


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