Two days after Disney said President of Disney Parks West Catherine Powell, who had been with the company for fifteen years, would be leaving The Walt Disney Company and that her position would not be replaced but in fact would be eliminated, we have new information out of Disney regarding the direction their leadership is taking.
The President of Disney Parks West position was only added to the company less than two years ago as the company worked towards their merger for Fox following Disney’s acquisition.
Bob Chapek told CNBC that the merging of the two power companies went so well that “what could have been a five-year mission turned out to be an 18-month mission.” Chapek we on to say that Powell’s departure was a mutual decision.
Powell’s position at Disney included overseeing Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris. The position allowed Chapek to focus on Fox and the consumer products integration, but still have eyes and ears on the park operations.
Going forward, the position will be split into several positions with separate individuals overseeing each park.
Disneyland Resort will be overseen by Rebecca Campbell, who has over twenty years of experience with The Walt Disney Company.
Walt Disney World Resort will be led by Josh D’Amaro, who previously was president of Disneyland Resorts.
Disneyland Paris will now be overseen by Michael Colglazier, who leads Disney parks and resorts in Asia and who has more than thirty years of experience with the company.
These individuals will begin their new roles beginning November 2019.
But wait there’s more. Disney has promoted George Kalogridis, who has led Walt Disney World Resort since 2013, to the role of president of Disney segment development and enrichment. He will also lead the Disney Institute. Kalogridis has been with the company for nearly 50 years, his entire professional career.
Speculation ran amuk amid the announcement that Powell would be leaving the company due to poor attendance and lackluster results of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge openings. As Chapek has said in numerous interviews and re-stated to CNBC, “I will tell you that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has exceeded every expectation we’ve had,” Chapek said. “There is no there there to this being anything but a runaway success.”
You can read more about our assessment of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland HERE as we set the record straight!
We expect more changes to come as the departure of Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company looms ahead of us as he announced he will retire in 2021. That means that more shakeups are likely as Disney works to fill the shoes of one of their most successful leaders in the company’s history.
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