ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- David F. D'Alessandro, former chairman and chief executive of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., will join SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as the company's chairman of the board. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment owns and operates 10 U.S. theme parks, including SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens.
D'Alessandro, 59, retired from Hancock in 2006. He led the financial services and insurance firm through a period of transformation from private mutual company to major publicly held corporation. D'Alessandro guided Hancock through a 2005 merger with Manulife Financial that created North America's second largest insurance conglomerate and the fourth largest in the world. The company achieved operating earnings growth under D'Alessandro's leadership that averaged 14 percent per year and average annual sales growth in excess of 15 percent.
D'Alessandro has authored three national best-selling books, including Brand Warfare. He was named Adweek's Marketer of the Year and Hancock advertising campaigns won numerous awards during his tenure, including a CLIO and the Cannes Film Festival best commercial award. A former Boston Red Sox partner, he was named to the Sporting News Most Powerful People in Sports list nine consecutive years, acknowledging Hancock's sponsorships of the Olympic Games, Major League Baseball and The Boston Marathon.
A graduate of Syracuse University, he holds honorary doctorates from three colleges and serves as vice chairman of Boston University.
"We are delighted to have an executive of David's caliber join SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment," said Jim Atchison, the company's president and chief executive officer. "The growth and success achieved by John Hancock under David's leadership illustrates the remarkable business instinct and spirit of innovation that has marked his career and now will help take our company forward."
"SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the nation's great family travel businesses," D'Alessandro said. "I am honored to be part of this organization and I hope my experience will bring value and help the company provide high quality entertainment experiences to its millions of guests."
D'Alessandro will serve as a non-executive chairman, providing strategic guidance and counsel via the company's board. He will remain in Boston and work several days each month out of SeaWorld's corporate headquarters in Orlando, Fla.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment plays host to 23 million guests each year. A portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), the company operates SeaWorld parks in Orlando, Fla., San Diego, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla., and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia; Water Country USA in Williamsburg and Adventure Island in Tampa. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs 20,000 people nationwide.
SOURCE SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment