The head of the Walt Disney Co.'s global theme-park division promoted a pair of Central Florida executives Tuesday in a management shakeup triggered by the departure of another senior official.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs appointed Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton to the new post of president of operations in the U.S. and France. Crofton will maintain her current responsibilities as president of Disney's Orlando resort — a position she has held since 2006 — but she will also assume oversight of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and Disneyland Paris.
"Meg's strong leadership abilities and broad experience make her the perfect person to lead resort operations in our established markets in the United States and Europe," Staggs wrote in a memo to employees.
The move is an extension of the company's "One Disney" initiative, in which it has been merging functions and responsibilities between its various resorts. Staggs also added Crofton to his executive committee, the inner circle of executives reporting directly to Staggs — in a move he said is designed "to continue the great work of sharing best practices and leveraging our operational expertise across our properties."
At the same time, Staggs tapped Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line and the Adventures By Disney tour business, to take on oversight of Disney Vacation Club, the company's time-share business. Holz will also join Staggs' executive committee.
"Karl will be responsible for creating consistent and engaging guest experiences as they expand to new markets and destinations outside the berms of our theme parks," Staggs wrote in his memo. "These operations are an important driver of growth in our segment and a critical part of our efforts to build upon and broaden Disney's reputation for delivering magical experiences to our guests, both inside and outside the berm."
Both Crofton and Holz had previously reported to Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney announced last month that Weiss, 57, was retiring after 39 years with the company. Weiss gave up his leadership position immediately, though he will remain in an informal role until the fall.
Staggs eliminated Weiss' position.
A number of other top Disney parks executives who had reported to Weiss will now report elsewhere. Both Disneyland President George Kalogridis and Disneyland Paris President Philippe Gas will report to Crofton, while Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis will report to Holz.
Jeff Vahle, executive vice president for facilities operations services, and Erin Wallace, executive vice president for operations integration, will report jointly to Crofton and to Bill Ernest, president of operations in Asia, which includes Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney and the soon-to-be-built Shanghai Disneyland. Kevin Lansberry, senior vice president of revenue management and analytics, will now report to Wallace.
Staggs also merged sales and marketing divisions, with Leslie Ferraro, previously senior vice president of global marketing, becoming executive vice president of global marketing and sales. Randy Garfield, executive president of worldwide sales and travel operations, will report to Ferraro.
(source: Orlando Sentinel)