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Tag Archives: Appointment

April 11

April 11, 2008 –Disney Announces Philippe Gas as President of Euro Disney S.A.S

“Together with the strong international management team, Philippe is committed to the Company’s long-term strategy and to its continued growth as Europe’s number 1 tourist destination.” – Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts James A. Rasulo

On April 11, 2008, an announcement was released that Philippe Gas was named to the top position of President of Euro Disney S.A.S, the management company and operator of Disneyland Paris. Gas was named to succeed Karl Holz, who was moving on to a new position as President of New Vacation Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Gas joined Disney in 1991 after completing his law degree from the University of Paris Assas, working as a finance controller and as part of the opening team of Disneyland Paris, then known as Euro Disney. After a promotion in 1997 to the Director of Corporate Compensation, Gas moved to the Walt Disney Company Headquarters in Burbank, California. He had another promotion in 2000 to the Regional Vice President of Human Resources for The Walt Disney Company Asia-Pacific, overseeing HR practices in 13 countries, including Japan and Hong Kong. He returned to Disneyland Paris in 2004 as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and continued to climb the organization until he was named the Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide in 2006. Gas was scheduled to fully assume his new appointment as president on September 1, 2008.

April 17

April 17, 1933 – Former President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Ron W. Miller is Born

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“I’m really very proud of having been a professional athlete. I think it teaches you to be competitive, to accept challenges, and to see things through.”

On April 17, 1933, Ronald William Miller was born in California. He attended the University of Southern California, lettering in football. It was there where he met Diane Disney, daughter of Walt, on a blind date. The two married in a small church ceremony on May 9, 1954. Soon ­after the wedding, Miller was drafted into the Army, but on his return, he played with the Los Angeles Rams as a tight end. During one game, when Walt was watching from the stands, Miller was hit hard enough to be knocked unconscious. Worried about the danger of the sport and his grandchildren, Disney offered Miller a job, which Miller accepted. He joined the company in 1957, with his first assignment as a second assistant on the 1957 film Old Yeller. He would soon move to the role of associate producer for Bon Voyage, Summer Magic, Moon Pilot, and A Tiger Walks. After this, he moved up to the role of co-producer on such films as The Monkey’s Uncle, That Darn Cat!, and Monkeys, Go Home! Miller had his first full producer credit on the 1968 film Never a Dull Moment, and served as an executive producer for 12 years. In 1980, Miller was elected president of the Walt Disney Company, and was also named CEO in 1983. During his term, the Touchstone label was created, with its first film being the hit Splash; Miller was also responsible for creating The Disney Channel and initiating the studio’s first attempts at computer animation, thanks to the film Tron. Unfortunately, Miller’s tenure was rife with corporate takeover attempts, and in 1984, Miller was ousted in favor of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. He now spends his days at the Silverado Vineyards Winery, building its reputation.

September 22

September 22, 1984 – Michael Eisner and Frank Wells are Named CEO and President of Walt Disney Studios

L: Frank Wells. R: Michael Eisner

“I thought, you know, Frank [Wells]’s more of a businessman, and Michael [Eisner] is a little nuts, and the two together kind of in some ways made me think of Walt and my dad. So we began saying, ‘How would you two like to take this job?’” – Roy E. Disney

On September 22, 1984, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells were named CEO and President of Walt Disney Studios. Wells, a former classmate of Roy E. Disney’s, had suggested to Disney that Eisner would be a good chairman of the company, with Eisner being seen as having an amazing track record after his stint as the President and COO of Paramount Pictures Corp. Wells came to Disney from Warner Brothers as the Vice Chairman, and served as President and Chief Operating Officer. The two were able to bring Disney back to its glory in an era known as the “Disney Renaissance.” The partnership ended with the Wells’ death on April 3, 1994, with Eisner assuming the presidency on April 4th.

August 14

August 14, 1995 – Michael Ovitz is Named President of the Walt Disney Company

“Mr. Ovitz described the meeting [with Michael Eisner] as ‘an interesting way to start my career at the Walt Disney Company.’”-David Teather, in The Guardian on October 27, 2004

On August 14, 1995, Michael Ovitz was named the new president of the Walt Disney Company by Disney chairman Michael Eisner. After co-founding the Creative Arts Agency in 1975, Ovitz resigned his position there in 1995 to accept the Disney position. However, he grew frustrated with the role as the second-in-command to Eisner, along with the scrutiny from the media, and announced his resignation on December 27, 1996, which became effective on January 31, 1997. His severance package included $38 million in cash and about $131 million in stock. He was succeeded by Robert Iger.