Disney released a statement today that Al Weiss, the President of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, is stepping down from that post which he has held since 2005. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Weiss’s resignation will be effective immediately although he will officially remain employed with the company until November 1st.
Weiss, who is only 57, has been employed with Disney for 39 years. Most of us on the east coast know Weiss from Walt Disney World, where he was that resort’s president during its long decline from 1994-2005.
What’s intriguing is that Weiss will not be replaced. The Sentinel reports that his position is being eliminated and, according to Disney Parks Chairman Tom Staggs, the parks operations division will receive a new operating structure in the upcoming weeks. This is rather big news, and I look forward to seeing what they have in mind. It’s obvious that there’s some driftwood in the operations structure from the top to the bottom, and a housecleaning would certainly be welcomed by many fans (assuming, of course, that the new structure is staffed with capable people). It’s a shame that former Disney executive Matt Ouimet was announced as the new head of Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. just two days ago; Ouimet is frequently hailed as “the man who saved Disneyland”, and many fans have long hoped that he would return to the fold.
So what does this all mean? Time will tell. I’m very interested to see what this new organizational structure is.