Disney Vacation Club president Jim Lewis was on the short list of candidates but the job of Disneyland Resort president ultimately went to 38-year company vet George Kalogridis.
Disney Executive George Kalogridis Named President of the Disneyland Resort
ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- George Kalogridis, a 38-year Disney veteran and former Disneyland executive, has been named president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Kalogridis most recently served as chief operating officer for Disneyland Resort Paris, where he was responsible for leading the operations team and overseeing the highly successful 15th anniversary celebration of the resort.
Kalogridis, 55, will report to Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He replaces Ed Grier, who is retiring from the company.
"George is a proven strategic thinker whose operational expertise and strong leadership skills will serve him well in leading the Disneyland Resort," said Weiss. "We are excited to welcome him back to California and look forward to his leadership as we continue to expand and grow this beloved place."
From 2000 to 2002, Kalogridis served as senior vice president of Resort Operations for the Disneyland Resort, where he played a significant role in the first expansion of the resort - the opening of Disney's California Adventure park and Downtown Disney. In addition, he was responsible for the daily operations of both theme parks and three hotels, as well as Downtown Disney.
"I am thrilled to be returning to Disneyland, particularly during this exciting time of significant expansion," said Kalogridis. "I look forward to working with the Cast who make the magic for our Guests everyday and partnering with the Orange County community to ensure the Anaheim Resort Area continues to thrive."
During Kalogridis' tenure with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, he has held numerous executive positions, gaining a breadth of experience beyond operations and sales. In addition to his leadership roles in both Paris and Anaheim, Kalogridis served as vice president of Travel Operations at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Kalogridis also served as vice president of Walt Disney World's EPCOT park, where, in addition to overseeing park operations, he led the Millennium Celebration for The Walt Disney Company.
Kalogridis started his career with the company in 1971 as a busboy at the opening of the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. For more than five years, he served as general manager of the Grand Floridian Beach Resort. He has held executive roles in Human Resources at Walt Disney World and served as one of the original Cast Members on the Disneyland Resort Paris development team in 1988.
About the Disneyland Resort
Situated on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks - Disneyland Park (the original Disney theme park) and Disney's California Adventure Park - plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort's three hotels are the 948-room Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 970-room Disneyland Hotel and the 489-room Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. With 20,000 Cast Members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County's largest employer and a $3.7 billion annual contributor to the local economy. The Resort has welcomed more than 550 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955. For detailed information about the Disneyland Resort, please visit www.disneyland.com.
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But maybe Lewis will get mad and go away. I don't know enough about him to know if he's really helped or hurt DVC, but the changes under his reign have ticked off a lot a people.
Gotta love a guy that started as a busboy at the Contemporary.
Plus, sounds like he plans on spending a lot of time out and about around the resort. A big change from his predecessor.