Two of Walt Disney Company’s most senior leaders will swap roles at the end of the year.
Thomas Staggs, senior executive vice president (SVP) and chief financial officer (CFO), will become chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. In his new position, Staggs will preside over the company’s vacation businesses, which span three continents and include five destinations, a cruise line and popular resort locations in North America, Europe and Asia.
James Rasulo, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, will become SVP and CFO. In his new role, Rasulo will oversee the company’s worldwide finance organisation, corporate strategy and development, brand management, corporate alliances, investor relations, treasury and risk management activities, controller functions, information systems, corporate responsibility, real estate and taxes.
Both will remain members of the senior management group reporting to president and chief executive officer (CEO) Robert Iger.
As CFO, Staggs has helped guide Disney through one of its most important periods of expansion and financial success while steering it effectively through two sudden global economic downturns in 2001 and 2008. He spearheaded Disney’s realignment of its performance goals toward a combination of profit growth and strong long-term capital returns and free cash flow. He has also led company efforts to drive greater cost and capital efficiency throughout the organisation and to put in place well-received company-wide environmental and healthy food policies.
As part of this growth strategy, Rasulo has overseen a major expansion of Disney’s California Adventure at Disneyland Resort, which culminates with the opening of Cars Land in 2012, and of Hong Kong Disneyland, where work is underway on the creation of three original new lands. He has also led negotiations with the Chinese government to begin development of a new theme park in Shanghai.
In addition to park expansion, Rasulo has been the principal architect of the growth of Disney Cruise Line, which is currently adding two new ships, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney. Prior to becoming head of Disney Parks and Resorts in 2002, Rasulo greatly improved the operating performance of Disneyland Paris, now the number one tourist destination in Europe.
Rasulo joined Disney in 1986 as director, strategic planning and development, advancing to more senior positions there, and later became SVP, corporate alliances. He then led Disney Regional Entertainment before moving to Paris as president, Euro Disney before eventually becoming its chairman and CEO in 2000.
Staggs joined Disney in 1990 as manager of strategic planning and soon advanced through a series of positions of increased responsibility, becoming SVP of strategic planning and development in 1995 before becoming CFO and executive vice president in 1998. He worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley & Co. before joining Disney.
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