Cinemark Taps Groupon’s Melissa Hayes Thomas As CFO – WM Leader

Big theater chain Cinemark has named Melissa Hayes Thomas, chief financial officer of Groupon, its new CFO and executive VP effective Nov. 8.

Current CFO Sean Gamble will step back from that role but continue as president and chief operating officer, the company said Wednesday. He’ll become chief executive on Jan. 1, 2022 after current CEO Mark Zoradi retires at the end of this year.

Thomas, age 41, has been at Groupon in several top positions since 2017.  She was previously VP of Finance at Surgical Care Affiliates and has served in a variety of finance and accounting roles at Orbitz Worldwide, Equity Office Properties and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Thomas signed a three-year contract, automatically extended for an additional one‑year period.

Gamble helped lead Cinemark through a Covid downturn that saw theaters closed for a long stretch and at a time when the CFO role has never been more crucial. The industry is is considered increasingly less at risk as the box office picks up with a string of big releases from Black Widow

to Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings to Venom: Let There Be Carnage to the latest James Bond No Time To Die. The run has been good for exhibition share prices and seen some Wall Street analysts upgrade the stocks this week.

Cinemark shares closed down 1.41% at $19.52 today but are up 1.43% in after-hours trading — well off their 52-week high of $7.56., but off a year high of nearly $28 last spring.