News Catherine Powell's position eliminated

markc

Active Member
Every park is different. Visiting Tokyo is a great idea. Admission is quite cheap. The biggest difference is they’re a cash economy so credit cards can’t be used. A tourist can’t reserve the famous Tokyo Disneyland restaurants using an American credit card since it cannot be accepted there. Wait in line. Upon arrival at hotel, pay for all reserved rooms in advance with Japanese yen. That’s why I brought $2000 worth of yen to pay for everything once I’m there. Buy all tickets at home if you can. That’ll save you from having to bring more cash.
What are you talking about??? Credit cards have been accepted at the parks for well over 20 years in Tokyo. You must not have been paying attention. Most hotels (chain hotels and Disney hotels in the city and nearby the park) have taken credit cards since they opened. While it's true, they're more cash focused as a society, certain segments of businesses have to cater to leisure and business travelers, and that requires accepting credit cards.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
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What are you talking about??? Credit cards have been accepted at the parks for well over 20 years in Tokyo. You must not have been paying attention. Most hotels (chain hotels and Disney hotels in the city and nearby the park) have taken credit cards since they opened. While it's true, they're more cash focused as a society, certain segments of businesses have to cater to leisure and business travelers, and that requires accepting credit cards.
When credit cards was not accepted, that’s when I paid attention.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
It appears Mr. Chapek just used one of his extra lives. (Great analogy, by the way!)

Mr. Chapek canned his direct report who was in charge of the Star Wars Lands in Anaheim and Orlando, and thus she is easy to blame for their underwhelming performance in the marketplace. Who knows, maybe it really was Catherine Powell all along who convinced Mr. Chapek to cut all the entertainment and interactive elements WDI had planned for these new lands and then convinced TDA to roll out a disastrous "Reservations Required!" marketing campaign that scared away anyone west of Denver who might be mildly interested?

But that's something we'd never heard of before, and Ms. Powell only assumed her role in March, 2018 barely a year before it opened. My hunch is that all of those cuts were already well under way from Mr. Chapek when Ms. Powell took the Parks job for Disneyland and WDW.

It's very difficult to look at the timeline of the last 18 months and not assume that Ms. Powell was used as the fall guy for Star Wars Land's low attendance and its underwhelming reviews on both coasts.
All I have to say is kudos on another stunning piece of misdirection in the long game you, Zenia, and Iger are playing to unseat Chapek. I still don't quite understand why it's necessary to go to such lengths, but I do enjoy the drama!
 
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egg

Well-Known Member
This isn’t the first time the position has been cut. When Meg left in 2015, nobody directly replaced her, because her position was unnecessary from the start. Then, last year, they created the same position with a new name. I was very surprised then. I’m not surprised now. Nobody’s had this role for more than a year or two. The bigger question, in my opinion, is why was Catherine Powell “promoted” to this last year?

Is Colgaizer out too? He has the Asian parks which was basically the same thing Powell did for the US/EUR parks.
It’s odd to have one and not the other, but since this one’s slightly more useful I think it’ll stick around.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
We all 💓 to talk about the boss but it boils down to how the boss can or cannot motivate their teams to perform to their highest potential. I see a lot of people in the service industry just going through the motions. The late great foul mouth George Carlin said it best.
"Most people work just hard enough not to get fired, and get paid just enough money not to quit".
 

markc

Active Member
This isn’t the first time the position has been cut. When Meg left in 2015, nobody directly replaced her, because her position was unnecessary from the start. Then, last year, they created the same position with a new name. I was very surprised then. I’m not surprised now. Nobody’s had this role for more than a year or two. The bigger question, in my opinion, is why was Catherine Powell “promoted” to this last year?
Quite simply, the story is, Chapek felt he needed the support since he had inherited Consumer Products again after the merger between that and Parks. They felt Catherine was the right individual with the right personality and skillset to support Bob C.
 
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cjkeating

Well-Known Member
This isn’t the first time the position has been cut. When Meg left in 2015, nobody directly replaced her, because her position was unnecessary from the start. Then, last year, they created the same position with a new name. I was very surprised then. I’m not surprised now. Nobody’s had this role for more than a year or two. The bigger question, in my opinion, is why was Catherine Powell “promoted” to this last year?



It’s odd to have one and not the other, but since this one’s slightly more useful I think it’ll stick around.
The role was created because Chapek had his portfolio extended to Consumer Products and I would imagine if he just doubled his workload (on paper) he needed an additional layer to ensure his workload remained manageable.

Chapek has just gained 3 direct line reports through this move.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
This isn’t the first time the position has been cut. When Meg left in 2015, nobody directly replaced her, because her position was unnecessary from the start. Then, last year, they created the same position with a new name. I was very surprised then. I’m not surprised now. Nobody’s had this role for more than a year or two. The bigger question, in my opinion, is why was Catherine Powell “promoted” to this last year?
That's a great point. This particular gig has come and gone over the decades. Al Weiss had it, then Meg Crofton, then it went away, and then came back for Ms. Powell. It seems this most recent elimination of the role was the sacrificial lamb for the "sluggish" launch of both Star Wars Lands, or so the Hollywood press is positioning this as.

It’s odd to have one and not the other, but since this one’s slightly more useful I think it’ll stick around.
It was especially odd since the sudden and immediate departure came one day after Bob Iger had a big New York Times puff piece about how he's now constantly searching for executives who aren't male. A day later he fires the top ranking female running the Parks division. Oops. :rolleyes:

Off the top of my head, Colglazier may be sticking around because it's good to have an American overseeing the various drama in the two parks in Communist China right now, plus leading the charge on the rumored Mumbai Disneyland.

Whereas Ms. Powell was overseeing two American parks that have highly effective Presidents running them who didn't need a British nanny to hold their hand to go to the park.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
That's a great point. This particular gig has come and gone over the decades. Al Weiss had it, then Meg Crofton, then it went away, and then came back for Ms. Powell. It seems this most recent elimination of the role was the sacrificial lamb for the "sluggish" launch of both Star Wars Lands, or so the Hollywood press is positioning this as.



It was especially odd since the sudden and immediate departure came one day after Bob Iger had a big New York Times puff piece about how he's now constantly searching for executives who aren't male. A day later he fires the top ranking female running the Parks division. Oops. :rolleyes:

Off the top of my head, Colglazier may be sticking around because it's good to have an American overseeing the various drama in the two parks in Communist China right now, plus leading the charge on the rumored Mumbai Disneyland.

Whereas Ms. Powell was overseeing two American parks that have highly effective Presidents running them who didn't need a British nanny to hold their hand to go to the park.
Mumbai Disneyland. Mickey in India. The cheapest slave labor to construct a little town called Dubai were workers from India. If Mickey gets built in India, some workers can go home for dinner.. During the Eisner regime, Eisner and Iger both went to India for a visit. Take your antacids with you...😉
 
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tirian

Well-Known Member
The biggest difference that I noticed most people missing regarding OLC conversation is the why. Why does OLC reinvest. Japanese businesses are very old school and focus on long term longevity of company and not for short term gains which means they will spend more on little things such as maintenance, customer satisfaction because it will maintain their consumers longer thus boosting profits which is not the thought process in the United States.
Quoted for truth
 

brb1006

Well-Known Member
Mumbai Disneyland. Mickey in India. The cheapest slave labor to construct a little town called Dubai were workers from India. If Mickey gets built in India, some workers can go home for dinner.. During the Eisner regime, Eisner and Iger both went to India for a visit. Take your antacids with you...😉
Speaking of India, they currently air a collection of Mickey Mouse shorts that's exclusive to Disney Channel India. It's notable since they voices for Mickey and friends sound very different.
 

ThatMouse

Well-Known Member
Nothing like going into the comment section to get super ultra reliable information about the inner workings of Disney! lol!
 

Flynnwriter

Well-Known Member
She’s the scapegoat. Someone has to take the fall. It should be Bob Chapek. It wasn’t marketing that brought attendance to a halt. It was Disney going over the line of expensive, delivering less (operating hours, entertainment) and opening duplicate lands that aren’t complete. Look within Disney - it’s not about a marketing approach.
 

aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
I wish a few WDW execs like holmes and kalogridis would be ousted as well, does anyone ever see or hear of them in the parks on foot??? They are just yes minions to chapek. Its just long overdue for a management exec shakeup across the board. Of course new people could always be even worse, but not sure it can get any worse at this point.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
She’s the scapegoat. Someone has to take the fall. It should be Bob Chapek. It wasn’t marketing that brought attendance to a halt. It was Disney going over the line of expensive, delivering less (operating hours, entertainment) and opening duplicate lands that aren’t complete. Look within Disney - it’s not about a marketing approach.
Iger has been telling Wall Street since last year and when questioned by reporters. Disney will be going through $2B of "cost synergies". That's the new lingo companies are saying when it comes to restructuring and we know what happens with that.✂
 

ColdSarsaparilla

Well-Known Member
It appears Mr. Chapek just used one of his extra lives. (Great analogy, by the way!)...

It's very difficult to look at the timeline of the last 18 months and not assume that Ms. Powell was used as the fall guy for Star Wars Land's low attendance and its underwhelming reviews on both coasts.
So who's going to take the fall for the impending "failure" of the Star Wars resort? Which it inevitably will, if priced as expected, IMO.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
So who's going to take the fall for the impending "failure" of the Star Wars resort? Which it inevitably will, if priced as expected, IMO.
Great question.

Kalogridis is already 66, and close enough to retirement age that he could take the fall easily. But it would be pretty ruthless and very bad PR to not let the Busboy of '71 retire gracefully with all the bells and whistles. Jim MacPhee is the CFO and SVP of Operations, but it's just silly to keep blaming this stuff on relatively blameless Ops people so I would hope they'd also let him coast towards his impending retirement gracefully. Thomas Mazloum is the SVP of Resorts for WDW, but again, stop blaming the Ops people for messes non-Ops execs create.

You might be able to pin this on WDW's SVP of Commercial Strategy for pricing it way too high and under-delivering?

But really I think we all know who is ultimately to blame here, based on what WDI said the land would be like in 2015-17 and what it actually provided upon opening in 2019. Similarly, no one can blame us for being very skeptical that the new hotel will be as IMMERSIVE and entertaining in 2021 as WDI said it would be in 2017.
 
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