ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - SeaWorld says that its CEO is stepping down as head of the company and named its chairman as interim leader.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) SeaWorld says that its CEO is stepping down as head of the company and named its chairman as interim leader.

Jim Atchison has served as CEO and president of the theme park company since 2009. SeaWorld says he will become vice chairman. Chairman David D'Alessandro will take over as interim CEO in January.

Attendance is dropping at the Orlando, Florida-based company's theme parks. It has been battling negative publicity surrounding its treatment of killer whales following the documentary "Blackfish" that suggested its treatment of the animals may have led to the death of trainers.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. also said Thursday that it will eliminate an unspecified number of jobs as it cuts costs.