AMC Entertainment on Wednesday announced CEO Adam Aron will become the company’s chairman of the board.
Aron’s appointment comes after AMC has become one of the more popular “meme stocks” on Wall Street Bets, a Reddit forum dedicated to sharing stock advice, this year. AMC’s stock, even after a rough last few weeks, is up more than 2,100% since opening the year at about $2 per share; the world’s largest cinema chain is trading for $45.33 per share on Wednesday morning.
Aron has served as AMC’s chief executive and president since 2016, and has also been a member of the company’s board during that same time. AMC’s decision to add the chairman title to Aron’s plate marks an increasingly rare move, with more companies opting to keep the CEO and chairman positions separated; Reuters on Wednesday noted 59% of S&P companies have a different chief executive and chairman, compared to 37% of companies a decade earlier.
AMC also named Philip Lader as the company’s lead independent director on Wednesday. The board changes come after Wanda executive Mao Jun “John” Zeng and Lin Zhang resigned after Wanda sold virtually all of its AMC shares in May.
“First, I want to express my deepest and sincerest thanks to Lin Zhang and Mao Jun Zeng for their contributions to AMC’s success and for their many years of service as members of AMC’s board of directors,” Aron said in a statement. “Their support, guidance and true friendship has been extremely important to me. Additionally, I am grateful to the full AMC board for their confidence in my continuing leadership. And it goes without saying that I eagerly look forward to working with Phil Lader in his new role as Lead Director of the Board, as well as with all of our distinguished and talented board members.”
AMC’s share price was up about 4% an hour into trading on Wednesday.