Disney has announced that Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for Disney Parks and Resorts, will retire November 1 after almost 39 years with the Disney company. Weiss began his career at Walt Disney World when he was 18, serving as a "z-runner," a nickname for the financial analysts who zero out cash registers at the end of shifts.
From 1994 to 2005, Weiss was President of the Walt Disney World Resort, leaving to take his current role in November 2005. Among many other projects in his tenure, Weiss oversaw the launch of Disney Cruise Line and the opening of Animal Kingdom.
Weiss shared this statement with Disney cast members:
"Fellow cast members,
After careful thought and consideration, it is with both pleasure and sadness that I announce after 39 long and wonderful years I will be retiring from The Walt Disney Company. Thanks to all of you who have been part of my unforgettable career with this amazing company.
I began my time with the Walt Disney World Resort as a teenager doing "z runs" in Magic Kingdom park. After many years and much hard work, I am proud to finish my career as president, Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. There are very few companies like Disney that give individuals an opportunity to grow and develop so much in their careers. Disney is truly an organization that promotes from within and allows our talented cast members to follow their dreams.
Over my long history with Disney, I have seen the opening of so many exciting things: theme parks, resorts, attractions, shows and now even cruise ships. I have had the great pleasure and honor to work beside such great talent and leadership, and I feel confident the company will continue to thrive and do magical things for many years. The best is yet to come...
While I will miss the great people, exciting projects and stellar vision of Disney, I am very excited to begin the next chapter of my life. I will not miss my weekly Monday morning commute to California, but I will look forward to spending time with family, grandchildren and friends and traveling this great big world in which we live.
Thank you for almost four decades of fun, challenges, good times and bad. Most of all, I thank you for the magic that I know each of you and Disney will continue to create for our cast and guests every day.
It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
Best wishes and God bless,
President, Worldwide Operations"