Being a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the largest multi-national media and entertainment company on the planet does not constitute making a name for yourself?
Ms. Finke has some very high standards.
So in conclusion, Rasulo was not a good chair at all. Staggs is unlikely to be any better as he comes from the same cost-cutting background as Jay, but there could possibly be some improvement if he is able to look at the parks as more than a resource and see how they're suffering from the misconduct of the executives that lead them. So likely the end results won't change particularly much, though there is potential for it to shift either way.
I respond: I'm sorry but "without question?" I think there are a bunch of questions generated by that claim. First there is the assumption of the partnership arrangements related to the SDL project. Disney's parks in Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo are not solely financed by Disney.
Second, I'm not certain what you mean when you assert Mr. Staggs will have "full input" on its design. Perhaps you could elaborate.
Finally, as you note, SDL will not open for several years (you posted five). The economic environment and Disney's financial standing will likely change over that period of time. To make assumptions about the company's decisions and the power and standing of this one executive five years into the future, seems to be a bit of a stretch.
The situation in Shanghai is quite different from my understanding however. While the agreement was made with the Shanghai government last week giving approval to the park, the actual contents of the park may still be in flux. In Disney's own press release, they state that this agreement simply allows them to negotiate towards "A final agreement to build and operate the park and begin preliminary development work." This could very well mean that their are significant strides to be taken in the planning process that the Chairman of Parks and Resorts would certainly be involved in. A final budget has yet to be approved for the project (To Our Knowledge) and while Imagineering certainly has many plans laid out, there are still choices to be made for both the WDC and Shanghai, and Staggs will certainly have his say. I said that he will have full input, which I believe he will. That does not mean however, that Staggs' word is law in our Magical Kingdom. This project is certainly one of great interest to Mr. Bob Iger, and he isn't going to let Staggs make any decisions that he disagrees with. Also, as you point out, there is the will of the Chinese Government that comes into play in the creation of this park. But just look at how some of Disney's parks have changed from announcement to opening. Beastly Kingdom cut from Animal Kingdom, Frontier Land stripped from HKDL, and let's not even get started on the mess that Disney Studios Paris is said to be. So in response TH, perhaps "without question" may come off as strong, and your rebuttal is certainly not without justification. But from my outlook on the current situation, Shanghai is the project that is in the most susceptible state. The projects that have been approved stateside for the next three years have budgets that are essentially set in stone. Whether he chooses to interfere with said projects remains to be seen, but I think most of what will happen within the next 3 years will be WDI prioritizing and working within the budgets they have to put out the best overall project possible.
Sorry for the novel, but I'm just sort of typing as I think. This is all speculation mind you, but I hope I gave you a reasonable response to your inquiry Mr. Creative, and hope that we might be able to see eye to eye.
Inside word is they are insisting on a "world-class" park with many more attractions than HKDL opened with. So even if Staggs was inclined to shrink the Shanghai budget, I doubt the Chinese would allow it.