View Full Version : Pressler to be CEO of Gap

09-26-2002, 08:04 AM

I hope this link works.

09-26-2002, 08:12 AM
I'm speechless!!!!!

The :jester: is gone!!!!!!

09-26-2002, 08:13 AM
Official press release on the "GAP" site:

HERE (http://onlinepressroom.net/gappr/pressreleases.asp)

09-26-2002, 08:16 AM
Now all we need are the posts from AV and Scoop telling us they knew days ago, but just couldn't say anything.....

09-26-2002, 08:36 AM
Actually...That's why we enjoy having you guys around. There's always more to the story than what's available on MSNBC. Interesting about the two candidates. Does Al Weiss fit into the fray at all?

09-26-2002, 08:48 AM
Happy Day.

Just saw the story on CNN Headline News.
Funny that they didn't really mention him "leaving" Disney just that he is the new CEO of Gap.

Pre$$ler was always a retail guy anyway. I'm sure he'll do well back in retail. Good luck Paul!

09-26-2002, 08:49 AM
So the snowball begins to pick up speed and grow :cool:. Combine this with a reacquired realization that the guest experience at the Disney parks does have an impact on the bottom line, and things could be looking up. Granted, we are at the bottom of a large pit, but you have to start clawing your way back somewhere.

09-26-2002, 08:57 AM

Gap Selects Paul Pressler,
Disney Veteran, as CEO


SAN FRANCISCO-- Gap Inc. selected Paul Pressler, a 15-year veteran of Walt Disney Co., to succeed Millard Drexler as president and chief executive of the specialty-clothing retailer.

Mr. Pressler, 46 years old, most recently was chairman of Disney's global theme-park and resorts division.

"We conducted a comprehensive search for new leadership and were compelled by Paul's track record and depth of experience in marketing one of the world's most beloved brands," Donald Fisher, Gap's chairman and founder, said in a prepared statement Thursday.

He said he will recommend that Mr. Pressler be appointed a director.

As chairman of Disney's parks and resorts, Mr. Pressler was for Disney's six U.S. theme parks in California and Florida, and four international sites in Paris and Tokyo, as well as for the development of Disney's eleventh theme park in Hong Kong. With revenues of over $6 billion, the division also includes more than 22 hotels, two cruise ships and Walt Disney Imagineering, the division that creates, designs and builds such assets.

Previously, Mr. Pressler served as president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., where he led the expansion of Disney's original theme park.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the many talented people at Gap Inc. Together, we will continue the great legacy of the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, while creating a new and exciting vision of the future," Mr. Pressler said in a written statement

Walt's Frozen Head
09-26-2002, 08:57 AM
This announcement from the Gap is the most positive hard news about Disney I've heard in at least five years.

Please please please let this be the tip of the iceberg.


Peter Pirate
09-26-2002, 09:01 AM
After weeks of reading Landbaron talk in circles it's nice to finally have some tangible (and fantastic) news to discuss.:D

It will be interesting to see what step two is (the replacement) and I think the basic moves made at WDW (locally) appear to have been a harbinger of things to come...And hopefully a harbinger of more things to come without the 'penny pincher' in charge ... or is he just another fall guy? It would appear that the tide may be changed and perhaps ME really is runnng for his life.
:cool: :cool: :bounce: :cool: :cool:

09-26-2002, 09:10 AM
So tell me...why is my stock down again this morning?

09-26-2002, 09:13 AM
Yippee! Yahoo!! :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc

This is great news for all concerned. Disney gets a chance to fill Presslers position with someone who understands the parks (I pray that they take advantage of this opportunity) and Pressler lands a job that he is perfectly suited for (the man is very gifted in the ways of retail management).

As others have said, Disney may finally be seeing the light. The return of early entry, the return of parades and fireworks and parades on some week nights in the off season, the presure on Eisner to perform, the departure of Pressler, all of these are good things. Lets us hope they signal a trend that will lead Disney back from the depths of mediocrity.

09-26-2002, 09:16 AM
A question. Now the PP is out and there is a short list of replacement candidates, whose fingerprints are on the recent decisions to expand evening entertainment at the MK and to reinstate EE, er, I mean start Magic Hour?
So tell me...why is my stock down again this morning?
99 percent of the general public has no idea what a :jester: PP really was and how he has effected the Disney Company. I would imagine an equally large percentage of analysts on the street are in the same boat. The stock going down could be a knee jerk reaction to Disney apparently 'losing' a high ranking executive.

Little do they know that Disney is not 'losing' anything, and PP is just plain rank ;).

09-26-2002, 09:37 AM
All I can add at this point, without starting a new thread, is Disney DID announce the settlement of the Wide World of Sports lawsuit that has been ongoing for years. The terms of the settlement were NOT disclosed in court papers filed today due to a confidentiality agreement with the parties envolved.


Peter Pirate
09-26-2002, 09:50 AM
Good news DVCDave, now any word on the Pooh lawsuit? Get that out of the way and the playing field clears up a little.

I'm with you Scoop on the Eisner situation. I oft - think about 'what if' he miraculously becomes Walt-reincarnate!!! What will the threepers do? (What will they do?) As for me I don't care whether Eisner does it, Katzenberg, Jobs or Pug-Nosed Ernie with the Big Butt...I just want it turned around and I like what I'm seeing. Sure maybe they're just baby steps but baby steps can lead to an eventual sprint!!!

Scoop, do you really think Weiss can be blamed by any thinking person for the recent WDW downturn? If so, I find that sad...

:cool: :cool: :bounce: :cool: :cool:

09-26-2002, 09:55 AM
Great News!!!! Please please PLEASE ... Judson Green!!

09-26-2002, 10:00 AM
If Eisner begins to revitalize the parks by building new E tickets and re-emphising maintenance , I will be all for it it. I have happily noted that there seems to be a new emphisis on maintence at both Disneyland and WDW. This is great news (even if it did keep me from riding the Haunted Mansion last week). My problems with Eisner have to do with the poor decisions he has made, not with the man himself. If he starts making good decisions, I will support him. My one concern would be that he might return to his old ways once he was out of hot water.

09-26-2002, 10:00 AM
While I too think it is now time for Eisner to leave, I'm almost laughing to myself at the scenario that he goes nuts and does great things at the parks. New attractions, etc., like ToT and Splash levels. I'm laughing because this would really put Baron and some others in a dilemma: 1. Hope he stays on long enough to dump tons of money in the parks as a last ditch survival effort or 2. Still wish for him to go on principle even if it means less immediate additions to Disney.

But Scoop - perhaps Ei$ner can be born again. Pixie dust baptised in the fairy Magic spirit. Perhaps he can rededicate is life to the Walt doctrine ;).

Seriously though. As they say, a leopard can't change it's spots. So those who find Ei$ner inept will always want him out. But I guess they won't complain if it takes an extra year if he is adding new and wonderful Magnificent, Majestic and Magical things.

09-26-2002, 10:59 AM
AV on the 19th on the Thread regarding Imagineering R&D going...

He mentioned... More is on the way...

09-26-2002, 11:20 AM
What will the threepers do? (What will they do?)
I'll kick whomever is sitting in the drivers seat of car 1 out and I'll be speeding to WDW.

Just because I'm pessimistic about the future (and admittedly, I'm less today than I was yesterday) doesn't mean I can't applaud a positive change.

The more positive changes, the more you will see people start to change cars. I'm not there yet, but I'm at least looking up instead of down.

09-26-2002, 11:47 AM
Dancin'... Dancin' in the streets....:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Horace Horsecollar
09-26-2002, 12:01 PM
Here's what Forbes has to say about it:


They make Pressler sound good -- as someone who should have been groomed to move up at Disney.

09-26-2002, 12:12 PM
If he can run the Gap it seems he could have moved up the ranks at Disney.

This quote from the Forbes piece clearly shows they don't recognize the significant difference between a goods industry (GAP) and a service based entertainment industry (Disney). While Pressler may be good at one, it doesn't mean he can thrive in the other. His departure clearly shows that and I'm surprised Forbes can't read into that. I guess it shouldn't surprise me though. The Forbes piece states that Pressler is applauded for his cost cutting measures, but fails to realize that the way costs were cut actually magnified the attendance problems created by 9-11 and the economy, rather than putting the company in a position to thrive once things with terrorism and the economy settled down.

Another Voice
09-26-2002, 12:18 PM
Eisner’s fabled “Five Year Plan” is already being called “The New Disney Decade” (and that’s not a good thing). Perhaps there’s a lot of cynicism running around today, but all the talk of additions (minimal as they are) is being viewed as nothing more than a part of Eisner’s PR campaign to save his job. Much like he’s down for a decade, Eisner is fantastic about building up excitement and spinning out plans – but there is very little follow through and very little actually ever gets built.

And the last decade has hardly been a case where Saint Michael was prevented from giving us Goodness and Light because of Evil Paul. The reason why Pressler was given the job in the first place was because he agreed with Eisner's way of doing business. And it's not like St. Mike was tricked - Pressler had a lot of experience ruining Disneyland before he was let loose on WDW.

The sad fact is that Disney’s financial position has not changed. Heaving Pressler over the side does not change ABC, the Stores, the Studios, and Consumer Products – nor will it fix California Adventure, Pop Century or repair a decade of neglect overnight. Don’t get me wrong – it is a huge step in the right direction. But it’s not the dawn of the good ole days again. The parks are just a same part of the company – the financial demands are still going to be there, the lack of senior corporate care will remain, and the lack of capital will still be felt.

But perhaps this is the first steps to get people who are interested and knowledgeable about the parks back into a position where they can start to repair the damage.

09-26-2002, 12:28 PM
Hey, I don't care who runs the parks right, as long as they are run right. If that means Eisner has finally got it through his thick head that new/innovative/family oriented attractions, longer hours, better service and improved maintenance are all necessary to achieve the financial success he wants, so be it. I'll applaud the man for learning his lesson.

Of course, I would still have to question why it took so long, but for the most part, that would be water under the bridge (at least as far as the parks are concerned...).

Certainly Pressler leaving is a possible good sign, but are we sure that things will really change? Or will Eisner do what he has done in the past: Find a scapegoat (Pressler), and then proceed to not really fix anything, or even make things worse?

I have no inside info of course, but I'm not ready to proclaim the revolution a success just yet.

Extended nightime hours and entertainment are only being tested, and only at one park...let's see what sticks.

EE is back. A good sign.

Hunchback is gone. A bad sign.

Project Gemini. Certainly a question mark where this will eventually lead. We've heard rumors ranging from splitting Epcot into two separate gates, to merging two pavilions with a new Soarin', to sticking California Screamin' somewhere.... How this shakes out will be a good, concrete indication of where things are going.


09-26-2002, 12:35 PM
Oh, and one other point of clarification to a comment made earlier in this thread... AV started dropping hints about Pressler's departure several months ago. Scoop also hinted about it prior to today's announcement.

Good news DVCDave, now any word on the Pooh lawsuit? Get that out of the way and the playing field clears up a little.

I read about the Wide World settlement, too, but as Dave mentioned, no details.

I haven't seen any real news on the Pooh thing for awhile now. Certainly nothing that indicates a settlement is in the works.

Personally, I think its pretty clear Disney will take a pretty big hit on this one. The only question is how big...

Another Voice
09-26-2002, 12:41 PM
P.S. I should also mention that Pressler's leaving is really nothing more than the continuation of long-term trend under Eisner. A business unit gets in trouble, Eisner shoots the division's leaders, proclaims "he's seen the light", appoints a new person, and the same trends continue as before.

This has happened at the Studio (too often to keep track of), at ABC and with Consumer Products.

09-26-2002, 01:01 PM
Well if The Big ME doesn't follow through it certainly makes it easier for him to be replaced - he has basically handed his opponents a stick to beat him with.

With any luck The Big ME has run off his last protege.

Bob O
09-26-2002, 01:24 PM
Its great that pressler is gone ,now lets hope they name a qualified replacment who will bring the parks to their glory days!!
Its nice to dream of eisner putting tons of money into the parks but while dreaming is nice nothing eisner has done indicates he has any idea of doing that. Now if he would dump ABC it would be a great start!!

09-26-2002, 01:24 PM
Second, the top two names to replace Pressler are Cynthia Harris and, surprise, Judson Green.

Judson Green would be an excellent replacement, however he left on bad terms with ME who basically cast him aside as President of Theme Parks Attractions in favor of Paul Pressler in 1998. This is reportedly what caused him to resign in April of 2000 and take on the CEO position at a navigation maps technology company. ME's attitude toward Judson when he announced his resignation was similar to that of many of the past executive talent who left because of creative clashes with him. He basically said good luck, we really don't need you. That arrogance is at the heart of all of the problems the company is facing right now. They just lost too many talented people over a short span of time who were not easily replaceable, even though at the time ME thought that they were. Anyway, if Judson were to make up with ME I think there would be no better candidate out there. Cynhia Harris would be my second choice, and not a bad one at that.

Here are a few facts on Judson's background with Disney:

Green had served as chief financial officer of The Walt Disney Company before being named president of Walt Disney Attractions in 1991, and chairman in 1998. Under Mr. Green's leadership, Disney's theme park and resort segment designed, developed and launched such new products as Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney Cruise Line, and Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World, as well as expansions of the Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris. Most recently, Mr. Green negotiated and signed an agreement with the Hong Kong government to build the first Disney theme park in China.

09-26-2002, 01:44 PM
What if ME has finally seen the light and maybe under pressure, will become in effect a figurehead of his own company? Maybe certain talented people would agree to come back if given a necessary amount of control and a promise that ME would stay out of the proceedings? Farfetched but one can always dream. :crazy:

This is good news though any way you look at it.

09-26-2002, 02:54 PM
Read this jiffy (http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/020926/1459000709_1.html) of an article from the Dow Jones Newswires.The loss of Paul Pressler as head of Walt Disney Co.'s theme parks and resorts division is a minus...Pressler's departure, however, further clouds the issue of who could succeed Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner.Here's another good one from the article:Pressler, who became chairman of theme parks and resorts in 1998, was credited with cutting costs and raising ticket prices.While there may be praise on these boards and those in the know ove PP's departure, it's obvious that Wall Street didn't like the move upon initial analysis. Sounds like ME had better name a replacement for PP and clearly outline a succession plan. What's scary is that apparently Wall Street values the cost-cutting mentality. If the 5-year plan presented to the board by ME focuses on boosting stock price (gripe from the Board of Directors), how much good can we expect????

09-26-2002, 03:13 PM
Now here is a scenario which he could stay. He re-invests tons of money back into the parks, they start doing huge numbers, and then he's able to slowly pawn off ABC.

Folks, while everything I hear is that Eisner still remains toast by the end of next year, that 5 year plan he presented to the board and which was approved needs to be leaked---soooooon.[/B]

It was. He promises more theme park cuts.


09-26-2002, 03:14 PM
Regarding these Dow Jones quotes:

The loss of Paul Pressler as head of Walt Disney Co.'s theme parks and resorts division is a minus...

Pressler's departure, however, further clouds the issue of who could succeed Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner.

Pressler, who became chairman of theme parks and resorts in 1998, was credited with cutting costs and raising ticket prices.

......I think it is prudent to remember that Wall Street analysts also loved Enron not that long ago. I'm not comparing Pressler to Enron here, just suggesting that maybe it doesn't really matter what these guys think of the move right now. If Pressler's replacement improves the situation at the Parks and Resorts, the shareholders will be amply rewarded in due time.

barrel of laughs

09-26-2002, 04:06 PM
No matter what the Touts are saying the street doesn't think PP leaving is a plus or a minus. The stock was basically flat today - as it should have been.

PP certainly didn't work out in the Parks/Resorts position, but he wasn't the significant reason for Disney's economic malaise.

09-26-2002, 04:59 PM
Well, regardless of what the Journal said, The Street didn't seem too upset by the news today...

The Dow was up almost 2%. Disney was up almost 3%.

Since Disney has had a tendency to move in the same direction as the Dow, only to a lessor degree, it would seem the announcement had no perceptible effect.

09-26-2002, 07:01 PM
The Street does not understand the fundamentals of The Disney Company. It sees DIS as a consumer goods company, much like Coca-Cola, instead of an entertainment company...whose real driving force in earnings is not necessarily in hard R&D like a pharmaceutical or in taste tests like Coke...but is instead in the creation of new entertainment offerings, revival of licensed characters, and the theme park division.

Pre$$ler was the mastermind behind the success of The Disney Stores, and they have suffered since he left. He was universally vilified as the head of Disneyland, and for some ungawdly reason was kicked upstairs by ME to head of all parks. I believe that M. AV is right...that Ei$ner likes having guys like Pre$$ler who match his thinking (and Pre$$ler is rumored to completely fail to understand the theme park business) and then can be discarded when Ei$ner's ideas do not work.

I would love to applaud this move (and inside I am) but I would like to see who comes in next. Reminds me of the traditional firing of the hockey coach or baseball manager when it is the GM of the club and its dismal farm system that is the reason for a terrible team on the field.

As an aside, I know that the American philosophy is bigger and better, but honestly, if you were Pre$$ler, wouldn't you have been satisfied running the Disney Stores? He was universally acclaimed by his bosses. He was allegedly courted by some other good sellers. Why not take that job? Why aspire to be something you are not?

Bob O
09-26-2002, 11:55 PM
Disney should think out of the box and go hire Bob Gault from Universal to run their theme parks!!! maybe he could bring back some of the imagineers who have left recently with him.

09-27-2002, 11:07 AM
That $15 billion dollar debt, reduced bond ratings and ABC are going to weigh in on Disney's ability to recover. There may be improvements at the parks, but it may start out slowly. Assets are going to have to be sold to free up money, and improve bond ratings to make it easier to borrow.

09-27-2002, 01:48 PM
On the subject of our bud PP going to the GAP:

Besides being on the Board of Directors for Apple and Pixar, did anyone else know that Steve Jobs also serves on the Board of Directors for the GAP? Just came across this reading an article about how Apples board is listed as one of the worst boards out there.

Obviously there's more to the story than just PP leaving - but could there be something more conniving going on here with Jobs playing games with Eisner?

Totally far-fetched, but everyone knows Pixar and Disney have been at odds recently...

soliciting info from those more knowledgable on Disney than I.....