Unsealed documents detail conflict between Kinzel and Falfas

Posted Monday, May 9, 2011 11:20 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Formerly secret court documents show that just days before his job ended, Cedar Fair's Jacob "Jack" Falfas was still being carefully groomed to replace Dick Kinzel as the company's new chief executive officer. The documents show Falfas was fired or quit during a brief but tense phone call.

Read more from The Sandusky Register.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 12:31 PM

Not sure who I believe here but I think Kinzel saying Jack wasn't good at finances and yet still wanted him to succeed as the CEOA says a lot about how much Kinzel shouldn't have any say so in who his successor is.

It's all a bi mess. I wonder if they both believe that the other is responsible. Looks like Falfas wasn't too poor at finances, he disagrees with the Apollo deal.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 12:43 PM

It's a little ironic that the "not a finance guy" would qualify anyone else as that. Still, what's troubling about this is that it really comes down to a conversation that two guys had. Only they know what was said, and one of them is lying.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 12:56 PM

That went down exactly how I heard it did.

It doesn't make sense that Jack would resign, considering where he was headed in the company. Sounds like the unspoken part of the argument came from Dick's idea to scrub out most of the expensive licensing fees from the budget.

No matter who's fault it was, I don't trust Dick at all; not after he tried to persuade the shareholders to sell their shares of the company for next to nothing, saying that it was a good deal. He lied in that situation. He didn't care at all about the shareholders, and he was only looking out for himself.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 1:03 PM

I agree with Kinzel! If I had to shell out $275k for any reason to MTV, I'd be pissed too. ;)

What a cluster -you know what- for this to come out. This has got to be pretty embarrassing for all parties involved. When you're heading a $1billion+ company, there's a level of professionalism that should be maintained and this looks like that isn't the case.

~Rob

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Monday, May 9, 2011 1:04 PM

I'm most distrusting of Dick myself. Jack had too much to lose. Dick had more to give up.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 1:06 PM

Or it may be that neither is lying but just each has a different interpretation of the same conversation. And at this point, I suspect both of them has something of a selective recollection of the call that portrays the conversation more favorably to himself.

And there should be a level of professionalism. But its amazing what egos and run of the mill office politics can do.

Last edited by GoBucks89, Monday, May 9, 2011 1:07 PM
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Monday, May 9, 2011 1:30 PM

I definitely think that could be it too. That was what I was getting at with my first post. I just wish CFEC could be cleansed of Kinzel though. The guy needs to go even from the board. New blood needs to run that company.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 1:47 PM

This whole thing probably came to a head with the Rock Band argument, but I bet there was hidden resentment about Falfas being opposed to the Apollo merger. This certainly seems like egos barking at each other.

It seems unreal that someone with that many years at CF, who was supposed to be the next CEO, can be removed in such a simplistic way by saying "then go". I guess Kinzel's claim that he tries to run CF as a mom and pop operation is right on the money.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 2:14 PM

When can we see a countdown clock for Kinzel's departure?

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Monday, May 9, 2011 3:12 PM

Hmmm this sounds like a sequel to the grumpier old men movie dynasty - AHHH There's my coastermania video idea!

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Monday, May 9, 2011 4:05 PM

Another rumor, and really, don't take it as anything more, was that if Apollo got the deal, it wanted Falfas to assume the CEO gig immediately. In the context of this new information, that doesn't make sense to me at all. But who could blame anyone with a large stake in the company that was against the Apollo deal? It wasn't a good deal for unit holders of any sized stake.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 5:28 PM

I have to admit the Rock band show was cool - but being a fan of Live E - That money could have paid for one hell of a production.

Cedar Point will never be a Disney or a Dollywood when it comes to shows, but a lot of Fine art students do get their "Chops" when working 6-7 shows, 5-6 days a week.

Some may differ in opinion, but I think that was a terrible use of Live E funds if the amounts are indeed true.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 5:41 PM

That show was far from cool. It was about as terrible as a live show gets IMO.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 5:54 PM

If I may read between the lines, it sounds like Falfas took a bluff too seriously. Their recollections are not too far apart. Kinzel baited Falfas with the resignation talk, and Falfas bit, then actually followed through instead of trying to backtrack. Kinzel was probably as surprised as anyone.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 5:55 PM

I guess "cool" is relative. I found it more exciting than a bunch of grunge kids riding around Oceana stadium on skateboards, hockeyskates, and bmx bikes.

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Monday, May 9, 2011 6:28 PM

Bring back the live bands!

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Monday, May 9, 2011 6:47 PM

A live band returned last year to the Red Garter for Tropical Heat, Island Beat (which I assume will be the same this season), although unfortunately one did not return for the HalloWeekends show.

Last edited by TimChat2, Monday, May 9, 2011 11:06 PM
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Monday, May 9, 2011 9:04 PM

^^^^


Precisely how I interpret this whole situation. How many times, in the heat of an argument, does one partner "threaten" to leave the other without ever meaning it? I believe that Kinzel was genuinely surprised that Jack actually left, and their relationship had deteriorated to a point that Jack did indeed leave. Clearly the relationship was eroded long before this, and the show in question was merely the tipping point.

And Amen to Jeff's comment. Live bands, please. You cannot replace a live band with...well...anything.

Last edited by OhioStater, Monday, May 9, 2011 9:39 PM
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Monday, May 9, 2011 9:52 PM

OhioStater said:
^^^^

And Amen to Jeff's comment. Live bands, please. You cannot replace a live band with...well...anything.

Hmmm This guy did a damn good close job of it...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C__11rUroZ0

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