RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Executive

August 17

August 17, 2006 – Meg Crofton Named President of Walt Disney World

“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.” – Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

On August 17, 2006, Meg Gilbert Crofton, a 27-year-veteran of the Walt Disney Company, was named to the key position of President of Walt Disney World. Crofton had held previous executive leadership positions in Sales, Operations, and Human Resources, holding the role of Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts before this promotion. Crofton began her career with Disney in 1977, working at Vista-United Telecommunications. She left the company briefly to work for AT&T, but returned to Vista-United in 1981 to serve as the Operations Manager; three years later, she was named the General Manager of the Disney Inn. Among her many roles within the company, Crofton was the task force leader for hotel openings of ten of the resorts within Walt Disney World, and led the task force for the opening of Disneyland Resort Paris. Crofton was the fourth person to run the park as President, and the first woman named to the position.

Advertisements

March 4

March 4, 1932 – Former Walt Disney Company President and Disney Legend Frank Wells is Born

vlcsnap-2013-03-03-20h54m46s228

“Talk about genius, a genius of an executive…a person who was willing to sublimate his ego and keep it behind the scenes because he knew there was a greater good. There was a greater good not only to the corporation and the stockholders, but to the creative enterprise that Disney was in.” – Don Hahn

On March 4, 1932, Frank G. Wells was born in Coronado, California. Wells and Roy E. Disney were classmates at Pomona College in the early 1950s, and in 1953, Wells became a Rhodes Scholar, earning his BA at Oxford University. In 1969, Wells became Vice President of Warner Brothers, and became its president in 1973 before being named chairman in 1977. In 1982, he left Warner Brothers, and was asked by Disney to join the Walt Disney Company as President and Chief Operating Officer in partnership with Michael Eisner’s offices of Chairman and CEO. As Disney put it, “I thought, you know, Frank’s more of a businessman, and Michael is a little nuts, and the two together kind of in some way made me think of Walt and my dad. So we began saying, ‘How would you two like to take this job?’” Wells was considered the peacemaker between the three strong personalities of Roy E. Disney, Michael Eisner, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Eisner said of Wells, “Interesting thing about Frank: he carried in his wallet a piece of paper that said, ‘Humility is the ultimate virtue.’” Wells is noted as being instrumental in bringing a new golden age of Disney animation.

Wells was also known as an adventurer, and a goal of climbing the Seven Summits, although he was unable to climb Mt. Everest due to bad weather. Wells’ love of climbing is honored in Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds, with equipment labeled as part of the “Wells Expedition.” On Easter Sunday, 1994, tragedy struck the studio when it was announced that Wells had perished in a helicopter crash in Nevada’s Ruby Mountains after returning from a ski trip. The building that houses the Disney Archives was renamed in Wells’ memory, and The Lion King was dedicated to him. Wells was named a Disney Legend in 1994.