The Orlando Sentinel reported yesterday that Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, has given the newly created job of President of Operations for the U.S. and France to current Walt Disney World president, Meg Crofton. This position was created after a retirement announcement by Al Weiss two weeks ago. In order to bring about the new “One Disney” initiative, Weiss’ position was eliminated in favor of a two person approach for the same position. Instead of one person in charge of all six Disney parks, Crofton will be in charge of Walt Disney World, Disneyland in California and Disneyland Paris and Bill Ernest will stay in charge of the Disney parks in Asia, including Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and the newest Disney park, Shanghi Disneyland, currently in construction.
Besides the announcement of Crofton’s promotion, Staggs also announced that Karl Holz, who is currently president of Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney will also now oversee Disney Vacation Club. Holz, Crofton and Ernest will all report to Staggs in an executive committee.
Disney fans across the web have had mixed reactions. There are people who believe moving Crofton into this position is a mistake because she has supposedly led Walt Disney World into a bad time and are afraid of a repeat performance of the 1990’s version of Disneyland under the time of Paul Pressler. Others believe that her time in charge of Walt Disney World has had some of the greatest announcements in years and is fully experienced to handle this new position. Whichever side of the coin you land on, you can be sure that there are some interesting times to come in the Disney Parks future.