Rasulo out as Disney theme parks chief; Staggs to replace
Written by Robert Niles
Hollywood alpha gossip Nikki Finke is reporting that Disney theme parks chairman Jay Rasulo is swapping jobs with Walt Disney Co. chief financial officer Tom Staggs.Tweet
Finke reports in an update that the move is a step in grooming Staggs for the COO post at Disney. Park cynics have said that Rasulo's always seemed more comfortable around spreadsheets than inside the parks, so it's a good switch for him, too. ;-)
Here's is Disney's corporate bio on Thomas Staggs.
Reaction? Ultimately, Rasulo's greatest legacy as Disney theme park chairman may have been, simply, that he wasn't Paul Pressler. That was enough to be judged a success. Pressler, Rasulo's predecessor, was reviled for the decline Disneyland suffered under his watch. Disneyland fans started a website to get Pressler promoted anywhere away from Disneyland, but, ironically, he ended up in charge of all the company's theme parks.
Staggs worked on the Pixar acquisition, which raises questions about how much more closely he might work with John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios and principal creative advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering. Lasseter is the de facto creative force driving decisions at the Disneyland Resort now, and having someone he's closer to in charge of all Disney theme parks might extend his influence in Orlando and around the world. (That would be a very, very good thing, IMHO.)
I don't know details how how well Lasseter and Staggs have worked together. But Lasseter and Rasulo weren't known for a close relationship.
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