Mondays are always full of big news and today is no exception. It appears that legendary Imagineer Joe Rohde is retiring from Disney according to Bob Weis, president Walt Disney Imagineering.
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“Joe Rohde is a real life adventurer—in life, in art, and in work. Whether trekking across the mountains of Mongolia on an expedition to raise awareness for snow leopard conservation, or leading project teams from Animal Kingdom to Aulani to Pandora, Joe fully embodies the true spirit of adventure and exploration. He approaches these experiences, not as a tourist, but with curiosity, respect, and purpose.
Joe has committed forty years to bringing dynamic, inventive, and diverse projects to Disney parks. While he is widely renowned for his unmatched expertise across numerous creative disciplines, he’s also an expert in every facet of leading and managing our projects, from setting the vision to feasibility, design and execution. His unyielding commitment to excellence across all aspects of projects, and his demand for authenticity and including diverse, indigenous cultures in design and production, are hallmarks of his projects and what differentiate them from all others.
Today, Joe announced his plans to retire from the company, and while I respect and accept his decision, I know he will remain part of our Imagineering family, a mentor to our current and future generation, and certainly the best example to our worldwide audience of what it is to be an Imagineer.”
Of course me being me, I’m thinking there’s more to it than that. A couple of months ago one of the big rumors we were hearing was that Joe Rohde was being considered as one of the Disney Imagineering cuts. Of course people were saying “Disney would never get rid of Rhode.” Nothing else was ever mentioned about it, so I didn’t give it too much thought. Then this announcement. Disney never says someone left because they got rid of them or because they were forced out or just got tired of it all and left. It’s always “retiring” or “moving on to other projects.”
As involved as Joe Rohde is with Imagineering and as much as he loves what he does, it just seems odd that we would hear it from Bob Weis first and now Joe Rhode. I’m hoping that he is simply retiring because he wants to.
It all might be exactly as it appears, but given that it was rumored he was getting chopped and now he suddenly retires, I have to wonder. Maybe Disney gave him one heck of a package to just leave? Wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened with Disney.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Source: Bob Weis, A friend
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