Longtime Walt Disney World President Al Weiss is getting a promotion to oversee worldwide park operations as Walt Disney Co. announced this evening that it is reorganizing the way the Parks and Resorts Division operates.
Weiss, who has headed the Orlando theme parks since 1994, was promoted to the newly created position of President, Worldwide Operations. He will continue to oversee Walt Disney World on an interim basis until a successor is appointed, the company said.
Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said Weiss and six other executives on the new executive committee will report directly to him and help integrate business functions from individual parks into the increasingly global division.
Rasulo said the new structure will "streamline the decision making process" and also help the company develop a consistent set of business practices for the parks and resorts, which stretch from Orlando and Anaheim, Calif. to Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo.
Rasulo said he also will now have direct oversight of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering, Research and Development and Walt Disney parks and Resorts Online.
Weiss, a native of Illinois, started work at Walt Disney World in 1972 at age 18, a year after the park opened. He worked the evening shift in the accounting department, while attending college. He rose through the ranks, earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College in 1980.
He held numerous positions including finance manager for marketing and entertainment, and division manager for Disney Village Marketplace, Fort Wilderness Resort and River Country. In 1993 he was promoted to executive vice president of the resorts division and in 1994 he was promoted to a newly created position of executive vice president of Walt Disney World. The title was changed in 1996 to President of Walt Disney World, also a new position.