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Topic: Cynthia Harriss out, DCL's Matt Ouimet new DL pres< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 14, 2003 7:51 am/pm Quote

The following was released to Disneyland Cast Members today:

Dear Fellow Cast Members:

Over the past few years, we've done some incredible things together with the Disneyland Resort expansion, and we are on the threshold of our most exciting milestone, the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.

The next three years will be teeming with energy and enthusiasm, requiring the undivided commitment and attention of our team. With that in mind, it's the right time for someone else to dedicate their time and efforts to leading the Resort to this historic celebration.

After an extraordinary 11 years with The Walt Disney Company -- six of them at the Happiest Place on Earth - I have made the decision to leave the Company. The times we live in today remind us that every day counts and I recognize that there is a small window of time to put my family and loved ones first. For me, that time is now.

It has been an honor and privilege to work at the Disneyland Resort and I'm proud of being a part of this team. Dear to me are the memories of our Cast Member family and the smiling faces of our Guests. Your love, care and compassion for this magical place, each other and our Guests is the legacy I'll hold in my heart.

Matt Ouimet is a superb leader and someone I respect tremendously. He is the perfect person to carry Walt's values and traditions forward during the exciting time ahead.

Warmly,

Cynthia


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she... is... outta there!

Here's the official press release from Disneyland Public Affairs, with details about who is replacing her:



Matt Ouimet Promoted to President of the Disneyland® Resort

Karl Holz Named President of the Disney Cruise Line®


Matt Ouimet, a 14-year Disney veteran and president of the Disney Cruise Line, has been promoted to president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, it was announced today by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts president, Jay Rasulo. Ouimet will report to Rasulo and replaces outgoing president Cynthia Harriss who resigned for personal reasons.

"Matt’s deep understanding of the brand, focus on the quality of the guest experience and demonstrated ability to manage complex operations will be a tremendous asset in driving the continued growth of the Disneyland Resort. In addition to his exceptional leadership skills, Matt has a proven track record of success having built the Disney Cruise Line into one of our strongest businesses," said Rasulo.

"Disneyland has been a symbol of magic and imagination since Walt Disney first opened the gates nearly 50 years ago. It is truly an honor for me to join the cast of this very special place. I look forward to working with the team to showcase the legacy of Disneyland as we approach the Golden 50th Anniversary in 2005," said Ouimet.

"We all thank Cynthia for her 11 years of dedicated service to the Walt Disney Company," said Rasulo. "I respect her decision knowing that she will be successful in any future endeavor. I know the cast of the Disneyland Resort joins me in wishing her well."

"This was a very difficult personal decision," Harriss said, "but it is the right time to step down in order to ensure a timely transition as the Disneyland Resort approaches its most important milestone. I am grateful to the leadership team and cast who helped create so many special memories over the past six years and I am proud of everything we accomplished in our expansion of the Disneyland park to a resort destination," Harriss continued.

Ouimet joined The Walt Disney Company in 1989 and over the last 14 years has held leadership positions in real estate development, finance and business development. He has held a series of executive positions that include senior vice president and chief financial officer at the Disney Development Company (now part of Walt Disney Imagineering) and senior vice president of Finance and Business Development at the Walt Disney World Resort as well as executive general manager of Disney Vacation Club and Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

Since becoming president of Disney Cruise Line in 1999, Ouimet oversaw the establishment of this exciting business as a successful element of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts portfolio. Under his leadership, the Disney Cruise Line grew into one of the country’s premier cruise operators. His focus on the guest experience has resulted in the highest guest satisfaction ratings of all of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vacation experiences.

Active in Florida’s business community, Ouimet serves as the chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of Directors for the International Council of Cruise Lines and the Floridian Caribbean Cruise Association. A native of upstate New York, Ouimet is a graduate of Binghamton University. He and his family will begin the transition to California immediately.

Karl Holz, senior vice president for Walt Disney World operations has been named President of the Disney Cruise Line effective immediately, said Walt Disney World president Al Weiss in a simultaneous announcement in Orlando. As a senior member of the Walt Disney World leadership team, Karl had direct responsibility for Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Downtown Disney, and 10,000 resort hotel rooms and vacation club units.

"Karl’s strong leadership and operational expertise make him a great choice to lead the Disney Cruise Line," Jay Rasulo said. "Karl is fortunate to have a very talented team of leaders to work with in order to learn the unique aspects of the cruise business," Rasulo said.

Holz began his career with Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort in 1996 as vice president, Downtown Disney where he oversaw the successful expansion of the shopping, dining and entertainment district. In 2000, Holz became the vice president of Epcot and in 2001 was promoted to senior vice president of operations.

Prior to joining Disney, Holz was vice president of theme parks for Knott’s Berry Farm and was also the president and COO with Sky Chefs/Concession Air. Karl, born in Germany, has a B.S. in Business Administration from The State University of New York, Fredonia.

"Matt and Karl epitomize the strong leadership skills and broad range of talents at every level of the Parks and Resorts management team. The wide-ranging experience they bring to their new roles ensures a seamless transition. I am delighted that they will be contributing in new ways to the success of our business," added Rasulo.



Hmmm, since he's from Disney Cruise Line, that might mean that new DCL ships based out of southern California might be closer to being given the green light.
:idea:

Here's the reaction from Jay Rasulo:


Message from Jay
Date: 10/14/2003


I am very pleased to announce that Matt Ouimet, president of the Disney Cruise Line, has been promoted, effective immediately, to president of the Disneyland Resort, reporting to me.

Matt will replace Cynthia Harriss who has resigned for personal reasons after six years as president of the Disneyland Resort and 11 years of dedicated service to The Walt Disney Company.

Those of you who have worked with Matt know that he brings many outstanding qualities to this important and challenging new position, including the exceptional leadership skills, operational expertise and brand knowledge that have made Disney Cruise Line one of our strongest businesses.

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 14, 2003 8:02 am/pm Quote

Gee... I wonder if there's about to be a new employee at The Gap?
:eyebrow:


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 14, 2003 8:09 am/pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

The news media is picking up on this story:

Sources Say Disneyland President Harriss Resigns

Quick quote:
Cynthia Harriss, president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., has resigned for personal reasons, according to people familiar with the matter. The departure of Ms. Harriss marks the first major change in Disney's theme park management since Jay Rasulo took over as president of Disney's parks and resorts unit last year. Ms. Harriss will be replaced by Matt Ouimet, currently president of Disney Cruise Line and a veteran executive at the company.

With Mr. Ouimet taking over in Anaheim, Disney is set to name Karl Holz, senior vice president of Walt Disney World operations, to take over as president of Disney Cruise Line.

The management shakeup comes at a crucial time for both Disneyland and the broader Disney parks unit. All of Disney's theme parks are still suffering from the effects of the travel downturn that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. And Disneyland is in the midst of planning a marketing blitz pegged to the park's 50th anniversary in 2005.

Full Details.

This out to quiet some of the doubters of Al Lutz's sources -- he's been predicting this ever since Pressler left.
:)


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 14, 2003 8:57 am/pm Quote

Disneyland chief leaves, cruise line head promoted

Quick quote:

Disneyland President Cynthia Harriss has resigned and Disney Cruise Line President Matt Ouimet will take her place, the Walt Disney Co.-owned theme park said on Tuesday.

Harriss said in a letter to theme park staff released by Disney that she wanted to put "family and loved ones first" and had decided to step down so another executive could take over the preparations for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.

Harriss oversaw the expansion of Disneyland into a two-park resort with the addition of the California Adventure park.

She also was in charge in September when a roller coaster partially derailed, killing one passenger. A spokeswoman said her resignation was not related to the accident.

Ouimet's cruise line division, though small, has been frequently lauded by executives, and Parks chief Jay Rasulo said in a statement that Ouimet had a "proven track record of success."

Disney World senior vice president for operations Karl Holz becomes head of the Disney Cruise Line.

Full details.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 14, 2003 8:59 am/pm Quote

Quote
A spokeswoman said her resignation was not related to the accident.


Yeah, it wasn't just the accident, it was how she let the park slide into desrepair, a lack of new E-Ticket attractions in recent years, a Tomorrowland that should be renamed Ghostownland... Need I go on? Me thinks the accident was the last straw.

I have great hopes that Matt Ouimet will bring the same great things he did to the Disney Cruise Line to Disneyland.


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Posted: Oct. 14, 2003 9:44 am/pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

On Wall Street today, "after dipping as low as 9,732.31, the Dow rebounded to finish at a new 16-month peak of 9,812.98. Strong results from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ: news, chart, profile) were good for a 2.3 percent rise in the stock., and this gain, coupled with surges in Alcoa, American Express and Walt Disney, led the Dow higher."

Is this because Wall Street likes Cynthia Harriss stepping down? Well, perhaps, but really it is because a well-respected stock analyst said today that Disney was a very strong company.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 15, 2003 1:44 am/pm Quote

Disneyland chief resigns

Cynthia Harriss cited personal reasons for her departure. She is succeeded by Matt Ouimet, a 14-year Disney veteran.


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Full Details.


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utilidor27 Offline

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Posted: Oct. 15, 2003 11:10 am/pm Quote

Well Rich, they did talk about her proven "track record".  :hurt: Seems like she did a good job of derailing Disneyland, and I certainly am glad she isn't going to be there for the 50th.
Bet that's one office housekeeping won't mind cleaning :)


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 16, 2003 8:53 am/pm Quote

I think she learned too well from her predecessor, Paul Pressler. Can't blame her for all the bad things because he started Disneyland's slide.

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utilidor27 Offline

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Posted: Oct. 16, 2003 12:33 am/pm Quote

Whatever the reasons may be, let's hope that the "house that Walt built" is better taken care of in the future. His legacy deserves better. :grin:

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