Amusement Parks: Merlin appoints New Group HR Director

8 February 2010
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Leading visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments has appointed Tea Colaianni
to the role of Group Human Resources Director, with effect from the end of February. Tea will join the Merlin Group Executive Board, and will be based at the Group’s Headquarters in Poole.

Tea joins Merlin from Hilton Hotels Corporation, where she was Vice President Human Resources, Europe, responsible for the HR function in a region comprising over 20,000 employees, 180 hotels and operating in 26 countries. Prior to this, Tea held a number of senior HR roles in companies operating across Europe, covering industries as diverse as telecommunications and data hosting/broadband.

Italian by birth, Tea started her career in employment law before moving into broader commercial HR management. She has lived in England for the last 11 years with her husband and two children.

Commenting Merlin Chief Executive Nick Varney said:     ‘Tea joins the company at a time of very dynamic growth for Merlin. I have no doubt that her strategic, commercial and international experience will be invaluable to us and will allow Merlin to drive excellence across the human resources agenda in line with our vision and values.’   

‘Already the No 1 visitor attraction operator in Europe and second in the world, Merlin now has 60 attractions in 13 countries and on 3 continents, and almost 15000 staff worldwide.    In the last few months we have also announced plans for 8 new Merlin attractions to open in 2010/11 including a LEGOLAND Park in Florida; Madame Tussauds’ wax attractions in Bangkok and Vienna; LEGOLAND Discovery Centres in Manchester, UK; Dallas and New Jersey; a SEA LIFE aquarium in Phoenix, Arizona; and an observation wheel in New Jersey.’

‘It is imperative that we have a forward-thinking, innovative and added value HR structure in place which supports our business growth needs, and ensures we provide both world class people development strategies, and the very best opportunities in the industry.’

Ms Colaianni said:  ‘Merlin is a world-class business, and the most dynamic and exciting company in the global leisure market today. It has a proven track record of placing people at the heart of the business, and that shows in the passion, dedication and energy of its employees.  I am very much looking forward to joining the team and to contributing to the continued success of the company. ’

For further information please contact:
Sally Ann Wilkinson  Tel: 020 8899 6110   Mobile:  07774 415372  Home: 020 8948 3725 (Sally Ann Wilkinson)   Email: saw@thefirmcomms.com

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years.  The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 60 attractions and six hotels/ 2 holiday villages in 13 countries and across 3 continents.  The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 14,700 employees.  Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Underwater Adventures, Heidi Park and Earth Explorer.