ORLANDO, FL., August 17, 2006 -- Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, today announced two key leadership changes at the Walt Disney World Resort. Meg Gilbert Crofton, a 27-year Disney veteran who has held executive leadership roles in worldwide Human Resources, Operations and Sales, has been promoted to President of the Walt Disney World Resort. In addition, Rasulo announced that 10-year Disney veteran Jim Lewis has been promoted to President of Disney Vacation Club. Both Crofton and Lewis will report to Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
"I look forward to Meg's leadership at the Walt Disney World Resort, where she will continue to focus on growth, creativity, innovation and excellent Guest service," said Rasulo. "Jim's promotion is well deserved in recognition of his strong leadership of our rapidly growing, very successful vacation club business. Both Meg and Jim are strong leaders with an excellent command of our business -- and both know what it takes to ensure an experience for our Guests that only Disney can provide."
Meg Crofton, President, Walt Disney World Resort
"The combination of Meg's leadership experience, in-depth knowledge of the company's operations and her incredible passion for our Cast Members and the Guest experience make her the right leader of the Walt Disney World Resort," added Weiss. "Throughout the past 27 years, Meg has assumed more responsibilities and gained extensive perspective and practical experience -- all of which will be invaluable as she represents more than 57,000 Cast Members at one of the most popular resort destinations in the world."
Most recently, Crofton, 52, served for four years as Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. In this role, Crofton had global responsibilities for all HR-related services for 99,000 Cast Members worldwide, including Employee/Labor Relations, Diversity/Inclusion, Compliance, Recruitment, Disney University Training and Development, Organizational Development, Benefits and Workforce Planning. Crofton reported to Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
"Thanks to Meg's leadership, we've made great strides in creating a world-class HR organization that is focused on providing the best experience and work environment for our Cast around the world, as well as furthering the business objectives of our segment," said Rasulo, who added that Crofton's replacement would be named shortly.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to lead the Walt Disney World Resort," said Crofton. "Central Florida is my home and it's where I spent the majority of my career -- and it has always held a very special place in my heart.
"I look forward to working closely with the talented Walt Disney World Resort leadership team, as well as with our dedicated Cast, as we continue to provide families around the world a fun and memorable experience," added Crofton.
Throughout her tenure at Disney, Crofton has consistently taken on roles with increasing levels of responsibility. Prior to her promotion to Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in 2002, Crofton served for five years as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Improvement at the Walt Disney World Resort, where she oversaw all HR services and strategies for the resort's Cast Members. Prior to this, Crofton served as Vice President of Human Resources, focusing on Guest satisfaction and Cast excellence.
Crofton also has extensive local and international experience, serving from 1987 to 1994 in several executive roles with Walt Disney World's Resort Operations. During this time, Crofton was responsible for hotel operations, as well as for convention sales and account services. She also served as the task force leader for 10 resort hotel openings at the Walt Disney World Resort and led the task force responsible for the successful opening of Disneyland Resort Paris in 1992.
She began her career at Disney in 1977 at Vista-United Telecommunications. After a brief departure to work for AT&T, Crofton rejoined Disney in 1981 as Operations Manager of Vista-United Telecommunications. Three years later, she became General Manager of The Disney Inn.
Crofton serves on the Board of the Rollins College Hamilton Holt School in Winter Park, FL. She attended Rollins College and received her BS degree in Marketing and MBA from Florida State University.
Jim Lewis, President, Disney Vacation Club
"Under Jim's leadership, Disney Vacation Club achieved significant growth, bringing total membership to nearly 300,000 individuals in 100 countries," said Rasulo. "Jim's strong business acumen and passion for Guest and Cast experience have been key to this growing segment of our business, and he is poised to expand the operation into new markets."
Lewis, 45, most recently served as Senior Vice President/General Manager of Disney Vacation Club (DVC). Prior to joining DVC in 2003, Lewis served as Senior Vice President, Multi Market Business Development and Public Affairs of the Walt Disney World Resort. In addition, he previously led the Operations Finance team at Walt Disney World.
"I am clearly very excited about this promotion, my very talented team, the Disney brand, and the opportunities that lie ahead," said Lewis.
Prior to joining Disney, Lewis spent eight years at PepsiCo in a variety of finance and operating assignments before joining Disney in 1996. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana State University and received his MBA from the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University. Lewis is also a CPA.
Since moving to Central Florida, Lewis has become an active community leader. He represents the Walt Disney World Resort on the boards of Enterprise Florida, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the Coalition for the Homeless. He is also a board member and 2006 Chairman of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce.
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