Universal Orlando has become a key player in the Orlando theme park business. This ascension has happened under the watch of Tom Williams. Universal Parks and Resorts announced key leadership changes coming in 2022 that effect more than just Universal Orlando. They announced that Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Parks will retire on March 16, 2022.
Williams became president for Universal way back in Orlando in 1990. He took the fledgling upstart park into a tourist destination with multiple theme parks, hotels, and an entertainment complex. Soon, Mark Woodbury will be taking over that role as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks as of January 1st, 2022.
Williams became Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts in 1999. His leadership led expansion of revolutionary theme park rides. Under his leadership, incredible immersive theme park lands like Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World emerged to change the theme park landscape. Also, he helped Universal Parks/Resorts open theme parks in Osaka, Singapore, and Beijing.
Comcast Chairman and CEO, Brian Roberts said that “Tom’s journey has been the journey of Universal Parks itself.” Also, Roberts praised Williams for his vision to make the parks a lively enterprise. William was given recognition helping define modern theme park entertainment for the entire industry not just Universal.
As mentioned, Mark Woodbury will be moving up to the top leader at Universal Parks. Woodbury himself has worked with Universal Parks for over 30 years. Currently, he functions as vice chairman of Universal Parks and president of Universal Creative. Woodbury has been responsible for strategy for Universal Parks & Resorts worldwide.
Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal said about Woodbury that he “has unique and essential insight into everything that makes Universal Parks & Resorts successful,” Shell also said that “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.”
Everything voiced is positive about this major change for Universal Parks. Williams is only top leader Universal Parks has known. Still, Woodbury has been prepared for this change for some time but there is always a bit of concern when change happens. We should expect major fanfare for Williams as he retires. Now, Universal sounds like they are in good hands for the future but there will be a new leader at the top soon.
Photo Credit: MSN
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