Barbara Bouza is the new president of Walt Disney Imagineering with Disney veteran Bob Weis moving to an ambassador role

Nov 30, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday November 30, 2021 3:11pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney Imagineering has a new leader, which sees Disney veteran Bob Weis step down to be replaced by Disney newcomer Barbara Bouza.

Barbara joined WDI in June 2020. Before that, she was co-managing director, principal, of Gensler Los Angeles where she brought strategic design management to clients including Netflix, and JPL/NASA. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and studied in the Graduate Diploma Program at the Architectural Association in London.

As part of a reshuffle in March 2021, Bouza became President, Walt Disney Imagineering – Business Management, Design & Development, and Bob Weis moved to President, Walt Disney Imagineering – Creative and New Experience Development.

With this latest organizational change, Bob will transition to a role once occupied by WDI legend Marty Sklar, Global Imagineering Ambassador.

Walt Disney Imagineering is in the midst of a significant rebirth, with the company deciding to relocate the vast majority of WDI to Lake Nona in Florida. The move, which has been seen by some as an effort to clear out WDI, has seen several high profile departures with many long-serving Imagineers choosing not to make the move to Florida.

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SirwalterraleighDec 06, 2021

Eisner hate/Iger love (with parks) is not historically accurate. I don’t see chappie giving a crap about Orlando…less so than Iger…who was Hollywood Bob Doesn’t that happen with everyone? But I think taking credit away from the Eisner Renaissance is not accurate. that aside…the Economy and society conditions are a big reason for success or fail. Iger barely had to look at anything money related…except for the housing crash- which I admit he handled/bamboozled brilliantly.

SpoiledBlueMilkDec 06, 2021

Don't forget the engineers! It's the change in direction that mattered even if the first hits out of the box were from Miller. I still believe the Eisner/Wells combo was what the company needed at the time to secure its position so it could get a chance to redirect itself and stave off a hostile takeover. Post-Wells Eisner is a different story...

lazyboy97oDec 06, 2021

Would we? A number of Eisner’s early success were outright or a continuation of the work of Ron Miller.

SpoiledBlueMilkDec 06, 2021

I'm no Chapek fan, but the CEO of Disney with a fleet of private aircraft at his disposal can be at WDW anytime he wishes. Plus he owns property in the Keys - more of a reason for him to stop by.

SpoiledBlueMilkDec 06, 2021

Without Eisner, there would be no Disney. I know the Eisner hate on this forum is real, but you at least need to agree that the chances of Disney surviving the decade would have been slim if not for the change in leadership. We'd be looking at Disney animation absorbed by another studio and the Parks under only God knows who's ownership.

Missing20KDec 05, 2021

B.Arch holders, at least back in studio, are generally creative people, but… This. Even outside of the themed entertainment sector (info about which I defer to @lazyboy97o), there are many instances where a client has no desire for the architect to “design”, you’re simply there to create a set of permit and/or construction drawings. If it’s design-build, (I’m very curious as to the typical project delivery system for DIS), the control the architect has over the project is mitigated even further. From the sounds of it, architects for DIS are little more than Life Safety consultants, drafters, and a way to minimize risk. Interestingly enough, one doesn’t need a Bachelor of Architecture to be licensed and practice in many states. Some accept a Bachelor of Environmental Design and additional documented experience. Some states still allow their state licensure board to review a portfolio of previous work to determine competence. In this case, the B.Arch and licensure should be prima facie evidence of her competence as an architect (though I’d bet dollars to donuts she hasn’t stamped a set in ages). ETA: spelling

IntrovertDec 05, 2021

Well, Bob Chapek lives too far from Disneyland ,except to make an occasional visit . And since he lives in California WDW will be a seldom visit. I don't even think he takes the time to read about the customers or cast members opinions about or reactions to the parks.

SirwalterraleighDec 05, 2021

I would consider “most” architects creative…though I work with plenty where that may not fit… I meant the resume looks to be more of an admin type in this case…

lazyboy97oDec 05, 2021

Yes if it’s a Bachelors of Architecture. She is licensed.

IntrovertDec 05, 2021

Not with just a Bachelor degree. Doesn't sound like she used it other than in the PR sector.

lazyboy97oDec 05, 2021

Not really anymore, more often now, and particularly at Disney and Universal, the architect is a third party hired to follow the creative intent.

MisterPenguinDec 05, 2021

You wouldn't consider an architect a 'creative'?

LilofanDec 02, 2021

Doesn't exist for WDI.

Lands of WonderDec 02, 2021

Everyone’s different, they can throw up just fireworks and fountains as long as the music score is good and synchronized well I’m happy. They can’t even seem to do that with all this new tech. I will admit that they do have to kind of compete with the average homeowner. Anyone can recreate Laserphonic Fantasy in their own back yard if they put in the time money and effort. Large firework shells and a soundtrack exclusive to your show on the other hand is still something only Disney has.