Fernando Acosta-Rua replaced as Pet Paradise CEO

An investor and executive at the company for 17 years, he said the action was unexpected and not voluntary.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 1:19 p.m. May 17, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Former Pet Paradise President and CEO Fernando Acosta Rua.
Former Pet Paradise President and CEO Fernando Acosta Rua.
Photo by Dustin Horn
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Pet Paradise, the Jacksonville-based business that provides resort and day spa services for dogs and cats, has a new CEO.

That’s not what the former president and CEO wanted.

“It’s not voluntary and it’s not supported by all of the board,” Fernando Acosta-Rua said May 17.

The Crane Group, an investment firm based in Columbus, Ohio, acquired a controlling interest in Pet Paradise in 2016.

The new Pet Paradise headquarters in San Marco.

The Crane Group has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Tanny Crane
Crane Group

On April 4, Tanny Crane, president and CEO of Crane Group, sent an email to Pet Paradise investors notifying them that Acosta-Rua was no longer the company’s chief executive.

The email began with a recap of the company’s performance since Crane Group got involved, including expanding from 27 resorts in six states to 60 resorts in 11 states and adding veterinary services at more than 20 locations.

“These successes notwithstanding, the business has not been able to consistently produce the results all of us, as investors, expected. Revenue and EBITDA milestones continue to slip and get pushed back from one year to the next,” Crane wrote.

Alex Miller is the new CEO of Pet Paradise.
Crane Group

She also informed investors that Alex Miller would replace Acosta-Rua as president and CEO.

According to his LinkedIn page, Miller is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA.

Miller was formerly global head of strategy at KPMG and then senior managing director of Investor Group Services, a Boston-based company that advises private equity and management firms.

Tanny Crane and three other Crane executives hold four of the seats on Pet Paradise’s seven-member board of directors.

Acosta-Rua, who invested in the company 17 years ago, remains an investor and board member, he said. As of May 17, he was still shown on petparadise.com as president and CEO.

“In my 17 years with Pet Paradise, I am proud of our many accomplishments. During my tenure, we grew from three locations and 35 employees to more than 60 facilities across 11 states and 2,000 employees. We consistently delivered industry-leading customer service, we supported our communities through philanthropy and we provided a great place to work for our people.

“Despite this action, I remain a significant shareholder in the company and remain a member of its board of directors. I want what’s best for Pet Paradise and what’s best for Crane. Anything I can do strategically for the company, I will do,” Acosta-Rua said.



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