Catherine Powell, the Disney veteran who has been in charge of the U.S. and Paris parks is leaving the company after 15 years, according to Bloomberg.
- Catherine Powell, who was in charge of the domestic Disney Parks as well as Disneyland Paris during the opening of the two Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansions, is leaving the Walt Disney Company.
- Powell was with the company for 15 years, and is leaving to do something new, Disney said on Monday, though Powell could not be reached for comment.
- Powell is also credited with reviving Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Paris with new attractions, and also worked in Disney’s TV division earlier in her career.
- Her position has been eliminated, and the heads of the individual resorts will now report directly to Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
- Disney opened two of its largest resort expansions ever this year. The $1 billion Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland resort in May. A second version of the expansion opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in August.
- Domestic attendance fell at the parks during this time. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said in August that some guests may have put off visiting Disneyland because they feared the new attractions would lead to big crowds.
- In addition, local Anaheim hotels raised their prices in anticipation of the opening, and Disney opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with only one of its two big rides in operation.