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Disney Executive Al Weiss Announces Retirement

22 June 2011 No Comment

In a letter to employees this afternoon, Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that he would be retiring from the company in November of this year.  Weiss will step down from his leadership position immediately, but will continue on with the company until November 1, working directly with Disney Parks Chairman, Tom Staggs, until that time. 

Weiss has spent his entire 39-year career with Walt Disney World.  Beginning in an hourly position as a teenager, he rose through the ranks to an executive position, holding more than 2o different jobs along the way.  Before his current role, Weiss served as president of Walt Disney World for 11 years, from 1994-2005.

Tom Staggs shared the following statement regarding Weiss’ service:

As you all know, he spent his whole professional life with Disney, literally growing up in the company — and most notably serving as an integral part of Walt Disney World Resort through most of its history,” Staggs said. “That experience enabled him to have a genuine appreciation for and true understanding of all that our cast does, and all that our guests expect. This operational knowledge has been invaluable over the years, and I greatly appreciate all he did to ground me in the business when I moved into this role a year and a half ago.

A replacement for Weiss has not been announced; rather, according to Staggs, a new operation structure will be created for the parks in the upcoming weeks.

Weiss states that he’ll enjoy more time with his family as a result of retirement:

While I will miss the great people, exciting projects and stellar vision of Disney, I am very excited to begin the next chapter of my life.  I will not miss my weekly Monday morning commute to California, but I will look forward to spending time with family, grandchildren and friends and traveling this great big world in which we live.

Weiss did not indicate whether he would remain in the Central Florida area, where he is very active in the community.  He co-founded Vision360, an organization which builds churches.  He has also served as chairman of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, has held a position on the board of trustees for the University of Central Florida, and is on the board of directors for Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

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