Speculation on Pressler's successor from NY Times...

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by raidermatt, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. raidermatt

    raidermatt Beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression

    Sep 26, 2000
    There's the same quote from UBS Warburg about how Pressler was seasoned and will be missed. Parks problems aren't their own doing. Yada, yada, yada...

    It does mention the following as possible replacements:

    Al Weiss
    Linda Warren
    James A. Rasulo
    Cynthia Harris
    Matt Ouimet

    It says a decision is expected within a week (but that's according to an anonymous source)

    Here's the text...

    At Disney, Speculation Over Executive's Successor

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26 — Speculation at the Walt Disney Company has already begun about who will take the place of Paul Pressler, the former chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who is leaving to become chief executive of the Gap. A Disney executive said no decision had been made, but an announcement is expected in the next week. Several internal candidates are being considered.

    Al Weiss, the president of Disney World in Florida, is said to be lobbying for the job, according to two former Disney executives. A longtime Disney employee who was up for the job once before, Mr. Weiss is well liked and thought by some at the company to be the natural choice. But a colleague, Linda Warren, Disney World's executive vice president for marketing and brand management, is another executive being considered. Ms. Warren is one of the top-ranking women in the company and used to work directly for Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive. She is said to be close to him.

    Another potential candidate is James A. Rasulo, the chairman and chief executive of Disneyland Paris, who, according to two people who know him, has been trying to move back to the United States for more than a year. And there are some dark horses: Cynthia Harris, president of Disneyland Resort, and Matt Ouimet, the president of Disney Cruise Lines who was recently given the responsibility of developing new business for the parks group.

    Despite the many internal candidates, though, the departure of Mr. Pressler, a well-regarded senior executive, is something of a jolt to the company, which has been struggling in recent years because of lackluster ratings at the ABC network and lower attendance at its United States theme parks. Mr. Pressler was often mentioned as a potential successor to take over for Disney's president, Robert A. Iger.

    "Pressler is a seasoned executive, and we believe he will be missed," said Christopher Dixon, an analyst at UBS Warburg. The departure will renew questions about Disney's ability to retain management and spur further speculation as to senior management succession.

    Senior Disney executives, told of Mr. Pressler's departure only late Wednesday night, were surprised by the news, one person close to the company said. But Mr. Pressler, according to people who know him, is ambitious and had wanted to run his own company for some time. "This is just a great opportunity for him," said one friend who insisted on anonymity.

    Unlike other executives who left Disney, Mr. Pressler had a close relationship with Mr. Eisner, according to these people. As such, Mr. Eisner is likely to consult him on a successor.

    Whoever gets Mr. Pressler's job will have plenty of work ahead. The parks are Disney's biggest money maker, accounting for about 40 percent of operating earnings last year. But since the terrorist attacks last September, the number of international travelers coming to the United States parks has dwindled and is expected to be down about 5 percent in the current quarter. . Analysts said that travelers are likely to stay away because of uncertainty over Iraq.

    Mr. Pressler's successor will also be required to oversee the selling of some Disney's assets. The company recently hired an investment bank to help it sell the California Angels, the baseball team in which Disney has a controlling interest, and the Mighty Ducks hockey team of Anaheim, Calif.
  2. roymccoy

    roymccoy Efficient Oxygen Exchanger<br><font color="#0080c0

    Jul 18, 2000
    Those are the same old names that helped get us in this mess in the first place! Maybe Disney needs a "Willy Wonka" type thing...you know, let in an outsider who knows what the Disney magic is and won't bow to pressure to cheapen it. Why can't they find a new "Walt"? I know that Walt was one-of-a-kind but I think we've had enough of the "shrewd businessmen" pulling the strings and it's time to give someone with some new magic a shot. I'm afraid that Disney only has one more time around with this. If they get it wrong for another ten years then I think they'll lose their core fans and they would have strayed so far for so long from the formula that they won't know how to get back. In my business we call it "the roll" and if you ever lose the roll, then you're in trouble.

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  4. manning

    manning Just for that I have requested it

    Feb 12, 2002
    "She is said to be close to him

    Linda Warren, Disney World's executive vice president for marketing and brand management, is another executive being considered. Ms. Warren is one of the top-ranking women in the company and used to work directly for Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive. She is said to be close to him.

    Let's hope she isn't the one. All we need is another yes person. NOT!!!
  5. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2000
    It's going to be a hrad position for anyone.
    If they are a Yes person they are doomed.
    If they AREN'T a YES person, they are doomed.
    A lesser of two evils is still an evil. ;)
  6. Bob O

    Bob O <font color=navy>Voice of Reason<br><font color=re

    Mar 2, 2000
    I also would perfer a outsider too come in and make major changes rather than a "yes" man who will just be a lacky for eisner~~
  7. HorizonsFan

    HorizonsFan DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2000
    Obviously this gentleman didn't talk to any actual Disney fans...

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