Saturday, January 16, 2016

Major Changes at Walt Disney Imagineering as Disney Names Bob Weis President of Walt Disney Imagineering!

Major changes at Walt Disney Imagineering yesterday as Disney named Bob Weis as new President of Walt Disney Imagineering!

From the N.Y Times: The Walt Disney Company on Friday installed new leadership at its linchpin Imagineering division, which is responsible for designing and building rides, hotels and restaurants across Disney’s $16 billion global theme park empire.

The changes, which come as Disney prepares to open a $5.5 billion resort in Shanghai, its first on the Chinese mainland, consolidate power under one leader. Bob Weis, most recently overseeing the Shanghai project as an Imagineering executive vice president, will become president of the division. A new leader for the Shanghai park, set to open on June 16, will be named at a later date.

Mr. Weis replaces two executives. Bruce Vaughn, who has served for the last eight years as chief creative executive for the Imagineering unit, will leave Disney after a transition period of several months. Mr. Vaughn’s counterpart for construction, Craig Russell, will remain at Imagineering, but not in the same kind of leadership role.

Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced the changes in an internal memo. “Since creativity is at the heart of what we do,” the memo said, “we need to relentlessly innovate and evolve our organization.”

The Imagineering unit has its work cut out for it over the coming years. Among other projects, Disney has announced multiple “Star Wars”-themed park expansions; a major “Avatar”-themed addition at Walt Disney World in Florida; and “Frozen”-themed areas at Tokyo Disney Resort and at Epcot.

Mr. Weis has considerable theme park experience. He helped design Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida in the 1980s. More recently, Mr. Weis oversaw a successful redesign of Disney’s struggling California Adventure park.

Text: copyright New York Times

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