While there may be a petition out to fire Disney CEO Bob Chapek, another giant Theme Park industry CEO is stepping down from his post. After 33 years with the company, Universal Parks and Resorts Chair and CEO Tom Williams is retiring.
Tom Williams, who has been with Universal for 33 years now, announced on November 16, 2021, that he will be retiring on March 16, 2022, from the Universal CEO position. Tom spent 22 years leading Universal’s parks division and has 33 years with the company.
According to Orlando Sentinel, Tom helped open Universal Studios Florida and became the Park’s president in 1990 before being promoted to chair of Universal’s Parks and Resorts division in 1999. With expansions in Universal’s domestic parks, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter land, international theme parks, and the recent development of Super Nintendo World in Japan, Tom has had a productive run, to say the least.
Brian Roberts, Chair and CEO of Universal’s parent company Comcast Corporation said:
“Tom’s journey has been the journey of Parks itself.” “His vision and leadership has made parks a vital and vibrant business and has helped define modern theme park entertainment for us and the entire industry.”
Who’s stepping in as Universal’s next Chief Executive Officer? The current Vice-Chair Mark Woodbury will step into the CEO role on January 1, 2022. Mark comes with much Universal experience has he too has more than 30 years with the company. Along with the current Vice-Chair role, Mark serves as the president of Universal’s creative division and has overseen planning and designs that mirror that of Tom Williams with Universal rides, lands, Parks, and more.
Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, had this to say about Mark Woodbury in a statement,
“Mark has unique and essential insight into everything that makes Universal Parks & Resorts successful,”“Beyond his ability to create incredibly innovative guest experiences, he has tremendous experience with strategy, financials, stewardship of the Universal Parks brand and so much more. He has also been a key part of planning for the future of Universal Parks & Resorts. All this makes him perfect for this role.”
Do you expect big things from Mark Woodbury in the new role of Universal’s CEO?