Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis is going to Disney World. Effective Feb. 1, 2013, George will leave his role as Disneyland’s president and assume that same role at the Walt Disney World Resort. Current Disney World President Meg Crofton will drop that title and keep the one she’s had since July 2011 as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. Current Animal Kingdom Vice President Michael Colglazier will become president of the Disneyland Resort.
“With all that we currently have in flight across our resort destinations in the U.S. and France, the time is right to move forward with this leadership transition,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This group of Disney veterans has the knowledge and expertise needed to continue delivering on our legacy of creating unforgettable experiences that our guests have come to know and expect. I would like to thank Meg for her tireless devotion and the extraordinary contributions serving in both positions, and wish George and Michael the best of luck in their new roles. They both bring a wealth of operational expertise, leadership and passion to these roles, which will contribute to the success of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.”
With the appointment of a Walt Disney World president, Crofton will focus all of her attention to providing strategic oversight of the broader initiatives that impact Disney destinations in the U.S. and France.
Kalogridis brings with him more than 40 years of experience at Disney parks in a number of positions around the world. Most recently as president of the Disneyland Resort, he oversaw one of the most extensive expansion projects in the Resort’s history – including the immensely successful transformation of Disney California Adventure. Throughout his career, Kalogridis also has been a leader in the travel and leisure industry.
For the last several years, Colglazier has served as head of Disney’s Animal Kingdom where he has been instrumental in the planning and development of an Avatar-themed land. He brings more than two decades of wide-ranging experience to his new role at the Disneyland Resort, including leadership positions in Operations, Global Development, Operations Strategy and Technology and Strategic Planning.
The company also announced several other corresponding changes. As part of the organization’s approach to providing new opportunities and challenges to leaders, each of these transitions is designed to give seasoned executives the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the segment’s diverse businesses and operations around the world.
Claire Bilby will relocate to Paris as senior vice president, Sales and Marketing Disneyland Paris and Europe, reporting to Leslie Ferraro, executive vice president of Global Marketing and Sales and Philippe Gas, CEO of Euro Disney S.A.S. Bilby has held a variety of executive positions around the world, including several in sales and marketing, and most recently she has been instrumental in leading the Disney Vacation Club business.
As a result of Bilby’s new position, Ken Potrock has been named senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney, reporting to Karl Holz, president of New Vacation Operations and Disney Cruise Line. Throughout his Disney career, Potrock has been a leader in a wide array of Parks and Resorts businesses, and has become known as a creative catalyst with deep experience in marketing and operations. Most recently leading both the sports and Downtown Disney organizations.
The new Animal Kingdom Vice President will be Josh D’Amaro, who formerly worked as the head of Adventures by Disney.
More about George A. Kalogridis, Walt Disney World’s new president:
• He is a 41-year veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
• He has been president of the Disneyland Resort since 2009.
• He began his career at Walt Disney World the year it opened, 1971.
• His first role was as a busboy at the Contemporary Resort.
• He served as chief operating officer for Disneyland Resort Paris from 2006 to 2009.
• He served as senior vice president of Resort Operations for the Disneyland Resort during the opening of Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney.
• He served as vice president of Travel Operations at Walt Disney World.
• He served as vice president of Epcot from 1995 to 2000.
• While in California, he served on the Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Children’s HealthCare of California, the Out and Equal Board of Directors, California Travel and Tourism Commission, the Cal State University – Chancellor’s Hospitality Industry Advisors Board, the University of California, Irvine Center for Global Leadership and UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board.
• He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology.