Leadership reshuffle brings new Vice President to Epcot

Apr 25, 2014 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Friday April 25, 2014 3:39pm EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is in the process of a leadership organizational reshuffle, which will bring a new Vice President to Epcot.

Current Epcot VP Erin Youngs will take up a new role of vice president, Construction, Horticulture, Textile Services and Distribution Services. Erin replaces the retiring Greg Ruse.

Taking up the role of vice president Epcot will be Sam Lau. Currently the VP of Walt Disney World Transportation, Sam will report to Jim MacPhee.

Finally, replacing Sam Lau in transportation will be Jason Kirk, who takes up the role of vice president, Transportation Operations. He has previously been part of the team that relaunched Disney California Adventure, and most recently a director, Planning & Industrial Engineering. Jason will report to Tom Wolber.

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xstech25Apr 29, 2014

Disney hired Sam (the new Epcot VP) to oversee an expansion of WDW's transportation system, his background is in public transit and before WDW he ran the San Francisco Public Transit system. In this official document Disney has sent out it says that Sam has overseen the expansion of the bus loops, roll out of articulated busses, and overhaul of the monorails computer systems. ...long story short, I would say the chances of any type of monorail expansion are extremely remote. Also it says that the new creative director of Epcot was brought in to direct a long term creative strategic plan for the park. I highly doubt the VPs of the parks have nearly as much to do with creative or long-term attraction planning as many on these boards think they do. Erin was VP of Epcot for a few years and the only real project she saw constructed was a new restaurant, the Test Track overhaul was being planned and developed way before she was in the picture (people were on that project in 2009 the first I heard of it).

WeekendGMApr 26, 2014

I'm not advocating expansion but the current state of transportation infrastructure other than the bus systems at the Magic Kingdom is mediocre at best. Monorails with mold, chipped paint and a knack for being hit by work tractors. Ferryboat system for the resorts that can barely handle a crowd on a night in January. Watercraft has for years wanted another large ferry to bring the total up to four and to replace the small launches with more large cruisers but what did Sam decide to spend transportations money on? Bendy Busses and more bus stops for the MK. Sam loves buses because all he ran in San Francisco was the bus division. Anyone who doesn't love buses as much as Sam is a step up for transportation department and anyone visiting the Magic Kingdom.

Captain NeoApr 26, 2014

WeekendGMApr 26, 2014

I've heard that Kirk was part of the team that planned the expansion of the monorail system to Hollywood Studios. Hopefully this signals a change from bus loving upper management and will allow watercraft and monorails to not be left behind in investments.

articosApr 25, 2014

Sam is a science and technology nerd. MIT grad.

sshindelApr 25, 2014

Two major moves regarding Epcot today. This one has me less excited than the other, because not knowing a single thing about any of the players involved here, it looks just like a game of Executive Musical Chairs. I'm sure those that know more about the people involved can read more into this than I can.

rct247Apr 25, 2014

First glance and no other information, I would form an opinion that this is possible good news for Transportation, mediocre news for Horticulture/Textile, and not so great news for Epcot, but when you take into account Tom Fitzgerald's move, who knows, Epcot may finally see some better days.

articosApr 25, 2014

Yes and no. Jason's an Ops guy. This is a normal shuffle as far as he's concerned. Means his bosses think he's smart and on an upward track within the company. More significant is Sam and Erin's moves with regards to Epcot.

Figaro928Apr 25, 2014

This could mean nothing or 7 years from now be very very significant ... maybe 10 years

TP2000Apr 25, 2014

At first blush this seems to just be a general mid-level executive shuffle. But the important sentence would appear to be that they've promoted a Californian named Jason Kirk who was part of the wildly successful DCA re-build/re-launch and made him the VP of WDW Transportation. Hmm...