Melissa Valiquette named Epcot VP as Sam Lau moves to a new role in Asia

Jul 09, 2015 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Thursday July 9, 2015 11:47am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

After being in the role for just over a year, Epcot's Vice President Sam Lau is leaving Epcot for a newly created role in Asia.

In Lau's place comes Melissa Valiquette as new Epcot VP, with Sam taking up the position of Vice President for New Program Development, Asia.

Valiquette is a 20 year Disney veteran, having held roles in front-line park operations at Epcot and Magic Kingdom, and also at business units behind the scenes.

Melissa was also a Walt Disney World Ambassador back in 1997.

As the new Epcot VP, she will continue to report to Jim MacPhee.

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PhotoDave219Jul 10, 2015

Yeah, he ruffled a lot of feathers with the articulated buses. He tried to change the culture, he failed. The current culture just has GSMs out finding reasons to write up transportation workers rather than correcting the behavior/problem. (Of course, the biggest problem is that the GSMs generally have zero experience in the field they're managing, so it really doesn't give those employees any incentive To respect their bosses... Especially since most transportation CMs come from the real world and have experience beyond Multiple college programs and internships.) They moved him to Epcot (which he called a dream job) and now is moved to fix Disney's Asian ventures. His background seems very cosmopolitan and is a bit of a world traveler. Seems like the right guy for the job. IMO. Perhaps he can Remold Disney's Management as to how they approach their Asian development

GymLeaderPhilJul 10, 2015

Sam wasn't really given much power to do anything in Transportation that he wanted. It was the status quo as well at Epcot.

ford91exploderJul 10, 2015

'Designated Fall Guy' perhaps, Disney is just brilliant bring in a REAL transit guy and then don't let him do his job because feathers are ruffled in the Mickey Mouse operation known as 'Disney Transportation', It really seems to suck to be Sam Lau these days bet he wishes he was still in his 'pre-TWDC' job.

gsimpsonJul 09, 2015

Wow. Lots of people with the red furred short guy at the controls around here.

WDW1974Jul 09, 2015

Mike Crawford had a much higher level position. He was basically the top American face for Disney in China. ... Sam's position is new ... and quite ... nebulous.

WDW1974Jul 09, 2015

Yeah, that does happen. Largely because people can't not post when there's nothing to be said. It wasn't me who broke it. I don't recall off-hand who it was. But we then got a second confirm.

PhotoDave219Jul 09, 2015

I think Sam is an excellent choice given the cultural issues that seem to be arising from the Shanghai expansion. Makes the most sense, IMO.

ford91exploderJul 09, 2015

Probably unfavorably

sshindelJul 09, 2015

How's it compare to a Turkish Prison?

ford91exploderJul 09, 2015

Wonder how he will like his new digs in a Chinese Prison, The last VP they had there ran out in the middle of the night leaving everything including his clothes. One wonders why...

BoltJul 09, 2015

Yeah - this happened like 3 weeks ago.

marni1971Jul 09, 2015

That time of the year?

wdwmagicJul 09, 2015

Didn't see it. The signal to noise ratio in there is way to high for me.

WDW1974Jul 09, 2015

As broken by others on my thread ... Interesting that Sam is staying on and moving to Asia where the action is.