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  1. #1

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    Post Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    Yesterday, Marty Sklar, Walt Disney Imagineering Ambasador and former head of Imagineering, announced in an email to his peers that he will retire from the company on July 17th of this year. Jay Rasulo, followed up on Sklar's announcemet with one of his own, thanking Marty for his many years of service to the company and for his creative efforts.

    Marty had led or was involved in the creation of almost every one of the company's Parks and Resorts destinations around the world: including the ill-fated California Adventure, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disney Studios Paris parks. Marty was proud of the fact that he participated in the opening of 11 Disney parks over his long career.

    The news will no doubt be met with mixed feelings by employees within the company and in the fan community. Marty is one of the few remaining links to Walt Disney and an invaluable source of knowledge regarding the company's history. However, In recent years, Marty has been a lightening rod for criticism in the underwhelming scope and success of the newer Disney parks.

    We would love to hear your thoughts on this news. What was Marty's impact on the company? Will his support of Eisner and cheerleading for California Adventure cloud his legacy? What are his lasting achievements?
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  2. #2

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    The front line man always catches the flack when things go sour.

    Thanks for the years Marty - enjoy some time relaxing.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  3. #3

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    I think Marty did a better job than most of us would have. I give him credit for all he has accomplished, regardless of how popular or unpopular his decisions were. Not every decision a person makes will be a good one. But the bad decisions should not overshadow the good one's. The same goes the other way too.

  4. #4

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    For me, unfortunately, his misleading communication during the controversy over the Small World "enhancements" undid some of the respect I have for this Disney legend.

    I can't help but wonder if Marty will send out a letter to Disney fans denying his retirement, and then in July retires anyway.


  5. #5

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by 2DieFR View Post
    For me, unfortunately, his misleading communication during the controversy over the Small World "enhancements" undid some of the respect I have for this Disney legend.

    I can't help but wonder if Marty will send out a letter to Disney fans denying his retirement, and then in July retires anyway.
    HAHA!

    Well, that's a small piece of the pizza compared to his whole career. I think he did a stand up job most of the time, and I'd take him over a few OTHER Disney execs any day. I hope he has a lovely retirement!
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    I was lucky enough to attend an event at the EMP in Seattle where Marty was the speaker. I could have listened to him for many many more hours than we got. He truly radiated a love of the parks and all that they meant to people all over the world. He may have made some less than popular decisions in the last few years, but overall, his impact on the Disney parks is a good and lasting one.
    I love my awesome crazy wonderful friends!!

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  7. #7

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    Can't say I side much with his opinions on things, but I'll salute him for his years of service to the company. It's good that it's not until July so it's not mixed in with all the layoffs throughout the company(heck possibly done on purpose because of that).

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    Oh well.
    Last edited by Mr. Eggz; 07-26-2009 at 04:07 PM.

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    Marty Skylar to retire in July

    Hey, I just found this posted on Twitter

    Disney Legend Marty Sklar’s Letter to Imagineers Announcing His Retirement After 53 Years - Orlando Attractions Magazine Blog

    He will be missed. Does this mean promotion for Tony Baxter


    ADMIN NOTE: Thread Merged Into Existing Thread
    Last edited by Dustysage; 04-25-2009 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Thread merged

  10. #10

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    Re: Marty Skylar to retire in July

    Did he pick July 17th for the sake of the anniversary or is there actually something technical behind this?
    Last edited by Goover; 04-25-2009 at 08:44 PM.

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    Re: Marty Skylar to retire in July

    Quote Originally Posted by startours1 View Post
    He will be missed. Does this mean promotion for Tony Baxter
    More likely it means a promotion for Tom "Video Screens Rule" Fitzgerald.

  12. #12

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    Re: Marty Skylar to retire in July

    Great story.

  13. #13

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    Re: Marty Sklar, former head of Imagineering, announces retirement

    His letter:

    I’ve always thought that the two most important dates in Disney’s parks and resorts occurred in July and October. It was on July 17, 1955 that Walt realized his “dream come true” with the dedication of Disneyland. October 1, 1971 and October 1, 1982 marked the official opening days for the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom and for Epcot (then “Epcot Center”).

    There’s an extra relevance for me: I was a working Disney cast member for all three of these openings…and for the eight that have followed. From Tokyo to Paris, Orlando to Anaheim, and finally (so far!) Hong Kong, I’ve sweated the final details of construction, installation and sho w “buy-offs” leading to the openings of all eleven Disney parks around the world. It is with considerable pride that I can say, “I’m the only Disney cast member who has participated in all eleven of those openings.”

    I’m anxious to join my fellow Imagineers at the next grand opening, too. But for me, the thrill of watching those gates open and the first guests eagerly racing to the attractions that are already their favorites, will be different next time. Because I’ll be cheering you all on from the sidelines, as a retired Imagineer.

    I have decided to turn in my name tag on one of those prime dates: July 17. In 2009, that date will mark Disneyland’s 54th birthday, and my 53rd year as a Disney cast member. (I returned to UCLA after Disneyland’s first summer to finish my senior year, then returned to Disneyland’s public relations department in September 1956.)

    Naturally, I’ve been thinking back over those 53 years, and what memories they are, starting with that summer day in 1955. I can still see Walt reading the dedication plaque at Disneyland’s opening. Little did I dream that day, as a 21=2 0year old, that I would spend parts of ten years writing personal material for that amazing man, one of the best known and loved in the entire world.

    Of course, July 17, 1955 was just the first of those beautiful blank pages we would fill. It was my luck to be “the kid” among the pros…first in public relations at Disneyland, then at WED Enterprises, Walt’s own company – the home of the original Imagineers.

    It was here at Imagineering, beginning in 1961, that my real education truly began. I owe much to UCLA (today I’m even a member of the Alumni Board of Directors), but my greatest “teachers” were right here in Glendale: John Hench, Dick Irvine, Herb Ryman, Claude Coats, Marc Davis, Blaine Gibson, Fred Joerger, Harriet Burns, Bill Martin, Rollie Crump, Roger Broggie, Bill Evans, Harper Goff, Bill Cottrell, Bob Jolley, Wathel Rogers, Yale Gracey. They were – they are – the true Legends, and though I was truly “the kid” among them, they accepted me and made me part of their team.

    I had the privilege (as my own career grew from Staff Writer to Vice President of Concepts and Planning, and then to President and Vice-Chai rman and Principal Creative Executive of Imagineering) of working with so many amazing talents, past and present. The Legends defined Imagineer and Imagineering, and you have carried on in the tradition they established: the standard of excellence. Walt created Imagineering, but Imagineers made it sing and dance. What Imagineers design and build has few precedents, but many followers.

    Today your ability to marry new stories and characters with the wonders of new technologies is exciting to watch. I have long marveled at the capacity Imagineers have for letting new genies out of their bottles, granting wishes large and small for millions of guests around the world every year.

    When I became the creative leader of Imagineering in 1974, one of the first calls I received was from the CEO of Disney, E. Cardon Walker. Walt Disney World had just celebrated its third birthday. “Now,” Card said, “what are we going to do about Walt’s idea for Epcot?”

    The next 30 years or so filled so many blank pages they are almost like one of those “flip books”, where everything’s a blur. We created nine more Disney parks, including the five in international locations. Imagineering lived up to its roots and truly became the premiere design, engineering and construction organization in the world. The traditions of passion for our product, great storytelling and inspirational risk-taking – the traditions begun by Walt and those original Imagineers – not only continued, they grew and spread across the oceans.

    For the last three years, as your Imagineering Ambassador. I’ve had a great time speechmaking and writing about creativity and leadership. I think I exceeded Jay’s expectations when he asked me to take on this role. We have created “Imagineering Week at the Studio”, represented all of you at special events and talked to thousands on college campuses, at IAAPA and TEA, at conventions across the country and Disney programs and events around the world. And I’ve had fun (that’s our business!) writing for many Disney outlets, especially my philosophy and history communications through Sklargazing on the WDI website.

    Now it’s time to turn the page. So many of you have asked that I have finally actually begun writing that book about the people, the places and the passions I have experienced as an Imagineer.

    As I said three years ago when my “ambassadorship” began, I know you will keep on dreaming big dreams, and creating the newest and best in the world. I’ll still be looking over your shoulders, cheerleading, and filling new blank pages. It’s the most important Imagineering tradition.

    Marty Sklar
    You can never run out of imagination. The more you use, the more you gain.

  14. #14

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    Re: Marty Skylar to retire in July

    I think this thread title means "Marty Sklar" as opposed to "Marty Skylar"?

    That is a good story. Looks like he'll be in Shanghai when it opens, I guess.

  15. #15

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    Re: Marty Skylar to retire in July

    Its about time he has been a pioneer and should be enjoying the fruits of his hard work.

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