Disney announces leadership restructuring, with Josh D'Amaro named Chairman Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

May 18, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

The Walt Disney Company has today announced a major reshuffle of its leadership team, with current Walt Disney World President Josh D’Amaro named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

The position of Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products has been vacant since Bob Chapek moved from the role into the position of Disney CEO. Josh has been Walt Disney World's leader for less than a year, taking over from George Kalogridis in September 2019.

Succeeding D'Amaro as President, Walt Disney World Resort is Jeff Vahle, a 30-year cast member who most recently served as President, Disney Signature Experiences. 

“I’m incredibly proud of the new leadership team at Parks, beginning with the segment’s Chairman, longtime Disney veteran Josh D’Amaro, and his newly announced team of Jeff Vahle, Ken Potrock, Kareem Daniel and Thomas Mazloum,” said Mr. Chapek. “These talented executives played pivotal roles while leading our exceptional cast members during the largest period of growth in the segment’s history, which included the expansion of our parks and resorts around the world, the addition of new attractions including two highly acclaimed Star Wars-themed lands, and a shift to more personalized experiences for guests. And I am confident that as they assume even greater responsibility and pursue new opportunities, these proven leaders will have an even bigger impact on the future of our company.”

D’Amaro, who most recently served as President, Walt Disney World Resort, succeeds Bob Chapek as Chairman, Parks, Experiences and Products. In his new role, D’Amaro will oversee Disney's travel and leisure businesses, which include six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia; a cruise line; a vacation ownership program; a guided family adventure business; and Disney’s global consumer products operations, which include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s print publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.

“I want to thank Bob for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to following his record of driving innovation, value and growth at Parks,” Mr. D’Amaro said. “I am honored to be able to lead this newly announced team of exceptional senior leaders as we assume our new roles and continue to deliver unforgettable experiences for our guests. Even during this challenging time, the enthusiasm of our dedicated cast members for what we do is unwavering, and my goal is to bring them back to work as soon as possible so they can continue to create that magic.”

Before being named President of Walt Disney World Resort in 2019, D’Amaro was President of the Disneyland Resort. He joined Disney in 1998 at the Disneyland Resort and held a number of leadership positions across the company. He served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy for Walt Disney World Resort and also led the sites’ Resorts & Transportation Operations. He served as Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park as it underwent the largest expansion in its history. His other roles included Adventures by Disney; Sales and Travel Operations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Finance for the Global Licensing division of Disney Consumer Products; and Business Planning and Strategy Development for the Disneyland Resort.

New Walt Disney World President Jeff Vhale said, "With Walt Disney World approaching its 50th anniversary, there could not be a more gratifying time to be selected for this role and to work with the incredible team responsible for creating magical memories for millions of guests each year,” said Mr. Vahle. “I plan to continue to build on the momentum from Josh’s tenure, bringing even more innovative entertainment and experiences to our guests."

Vahle began his Disney career in 1990, and has ben involved in Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney, Aulani and Golden Oak.

Elsewhere, Ken Potrock becomes President, Disneyland Resort, succeeding Rebecca Campbell, who was named Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International.

Kareem Daniel will leave Imagineering to take on the role of President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, leading the division responsible for extending the Disney brand through at-home experiences in products, publishing and games.

Thomas Mazloum, formerly Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, becomes President, Disney Signature Experiences, which includes Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney.

“I am thrilled to continue my Disney career by joining the businesses renowned for providing personalized and uniquely Disney experiences and delivering world-class guest service,” said Mr. Mazloum. “I cannot wait to bring even more magic to guests on the seas and at our remarkable destinations around the world.”

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Article Posted: May 18, 2020 / 4:51pm ET