SeaWorld laying off more than 300 workers

SeaWorld, killer whale
(AP Photo/SeaWorld San Diego)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is laying off more than 300 workers, a day after its CEO announced he is stepping down.

Spokesman Fred Jacobs said Friday 311 workers would be laid off from the company’s Orlando headquarters and its 11 parks.

The company has 4,500 fulltime workers and 7,300 part-timers.

The layoffs come a day after CEO Jim Atchison announced he is stepping down as head of the company. SeaWorld’s chairman was named the company’s interim leader.

Attendance at its theme parks has been weak since the recession and has dropped in three of the past four quarters. SeaWorld has also been battling negative publicity related to care of its animals, since the release of “Blackfish” last year. The documentary suggested the captivity of killer whales may have led to the death of a trainer.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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