Following the news that former Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis was let go from the company, Disney has announced the successor that will take his place as head of Disney Vacation Club. Claire Bilby, who has been with the company for 23 years, largely in sales positions, will take over Lewis’ former position as senior Vice President in charge of Disney Vacation Club.
“Claire brings to Disney Vacation Club an impressive track record in global sales, as well as an inspirational leadership style and innovative thinking,” Karl Holz, president of New Vacation Operations and Disney Cruise Line, said in a memo to Disney Vacation Club employees. “Her many accomplishments include helping to launch several Disney theme parks around the world and serving as a key leader in the successful 50th anniversary celebration for Disneyland Resort.”
After beginning her career with the Walt Disney Company in marketing at the Walt Disney World Resort, Bilby was appointed as senior vice president of sales and distribution marketing for Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. In 2009, Bilby once again returned to the East Coast as senior vice president of distribution marketing and Asia Pacific sales, where she lead sales for Disney’s domestic parks businesses and was also the top sales leader for Disney’s consumer marketing business in Asia. Most recently, Bilby was serving temporarily as head of the sales organization at Disneyland Paris.
This new change in management comes at a complex time for Disney Vacation Club. Disney’s newest resort, Aulani, is set to open on Monday, yet Vacation Club sales for the property have been halted since July. Mismanagement in sales for the new property are what led to the release of Lewis from the company, along with two other executives. Sales are currently still open for two of Disney Vacation Club’s properties in Walt Disney World, the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Disney Vacation Club units are expected to be a part of an expansion coming to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.