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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