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MCA Revamps Management of Theme Park Division

November 06, 1996|JAMES BATES

MCA Inc. shook up the management of its theme park division Tuesday, easing out the unit's top executive and placing veterans of PepsiCo and MCA parent Seagram in key posts.

Ron Bension, one of the few senior executive holdovers from the days before Seagram acquired MCA last year, resigned as chairman and chief executive of Universal Studios Recreation Group, MCA said.

MCA's recreation group oversees the Universal Studios theme parks in Los Angeles and Florida and is developing a new park in Japan. It also oversees the CityWalk retail operation.

Sources said that although the unit's performance has been good and Bension is given high marks for his operational skills, company executives wanted to bring in new management with a fresher vision for the operation's rapid expansion. Sources say Seagram executives have targeted theme parks and music as two key areas where they believe profit can be boosted substantially.

MCA said it will search for a replacement for Bension, with Pepsi veteran Stephen Carley taking over as president and chief operating officer.

Three executive vice presidents were also added to Universal Studios Florida, including Seagram financial executive Michael Corcoran, who was named executive vice president and chief financial officer. Dan Jensen was promoted to executive vice president of resort expansion in Florida, with Felix Mussenden named executive vice president and general manager.

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