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Karen Irwin replaces Larry Kurzweil as head of Universal Studios Hollywood

October 19, 2016, 2:09 PM · Larry Kurzweil is out and Universal Parks & Resorts executive Karen Irwin is in as President of Universal Studios Hollywood, corporate parent NBCUniversal announced today.

Irwin, who has been based in Orlando, has been the Executive Vice President, Global Merchandise and Partnership Development, for Universal Parks & Resorts. An opening crew team member at Universal Studios Florida, Irwin has worked as Director of Operations and Director of Support Services for Food and Beverage, as well as Vice President of Merchandise Operations and Vice President of Revenue Operations for Universal Orlando before moving up the corporate level to work as Vice President of Partnership Development before taking on the merchandise gig. She will be relocating to Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Kurzweil, who has been in charge of the Hollywood park since 1999, will be leaving the company, becoming the President and CEO of the popular LA-area restaurant chain Lemonade.

In making the announcement of the change today, Universal Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Williams said in a statement, “Karen is creative, strategic, focused and a true leader and been at the forefront of our incredible growth in Merchandise over the past 10 years. She has a wealth of operational and senior management experience in all facets of our business and was instrumental in all of the development of our incredible Harry Potter offerings. Karen is uniquely qualified for this important role and we look forward to welcoming her to this new chapter in her career.”

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Replies (4)

October 19, 2016 at 2:29 PM · So this has nothing to do with their botched Annual Pass shakedown.
October 25, 2016 at 2:31 PM · The park achieved some wonderful things in recent years under Larry. I just hope that Karen brings Hot Butterbeer and Butterbeer Ice Cream with her from Orlando. And, oh, a two-coast, all-park annual pass option, too.
October 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM · Hopefully Murdy will get some more love for HHN. Out of his control at the moment, some of the operational stuff like ticketing and late announcement of dates was poor.

All my local friends were rather p'd off about the AP situation.

It will be interesting to see what changes.

October 20, 2016 at 5:50 PM · Consider this a gift from us Floridians to you Californians. You've seen the wonderful things she's been able to do for our Universal parks, and now she shall do the same for yours.

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