The sudden exit of Greg Shaw from the top job at Ardent Leisure and news of his surprise replacement, Deborah Thomas, sent the company’s shares tumbling almost 30% yesterday before finishing 20% lower.

tower of terror at dreamworldArdent Leisure owns the Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks among other assets.

Market sentiment appeared to be summed up by this quote.

“I personally am completely flabbergasted and shocked by the whole development, Morningstar analyst Brian Han told The Australian.

“We are surprised the vacant CEO role will not be filled by one of the capable division heads, (however) we are not privy to the selection process conducted by the board.”

Ms Thomas is the former editor-in-chief of the Australian Women’s Weekly.

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