Disney President Catherine Powell is Stepping Down From Disney After Lackluster Galaxy’s Edge Opening
Various online sources are reporting that Catherine Powell, President of Disney Parks West (which included Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World and Disneyland) will be stepping down from her post at the Walt Disney Company.
Powell was in her post during the recent openings for two new Star Wars lands – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Both parks disappointed when it came to opening attendance figures which many are speculating is the reason for Powell’s departure. Powell had been with the company for 15 years having signed on in 2004 following previous posts at BBC Worldwide as well as TV sales for Europe and the Middle East.
With the theme park expansions on both coasts failing to bring in the big numbers, Disney had to bolster the turnout for the Star Wars attractions with discount pricing and aggressive marketing. According to sources at Disney, Powell’s post has been eliminated and she will remain on board long enough to facilitate the transition of her staff who will not be under the wing of Disney Parks, Experiences & Products, chairman Bob Chapek.
However, execs at Disney remain optimistic about the future of Galaxy’s Edge. According to the Hollywood Reporter, during a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger was upbeat about the lands long-term success stating. “Guest satisfaction, interest in the attraction and in the land is extremely high. They’re among the most popular things at the park. And so long term, and we build these things for the long term, we have no concerns whatsoever about them,” he said.
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