After 15 years in the position, Bill Davis, president of the Universal Orlando Resort, is set to retire on January 1st, 2022, to be replaced by current president of Universal Studios Hollywood, Karen Irwin, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
- Bill Davis, who has served as president of the Universal Orlando Resort for the last 15 years, is set to retire on January 1st, 2022.
- Davis was named the president of the resort in 2006, after serving as SeaWorld Orlando’s General Manager, and a resume in the theme park industry for over forty years, including Six Flags Marine World (Now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) and as well as PortAventura in Spain, once owned by Universal.
- Theme park enthusiasts will remember 2006 was a low point for Universal Orlando, marked by dwindling attendance and a lack of new attractions and expansions. By February 2007, Davis was excited for the future of the resort, which under his oversight, saw massive expansion including the now-iconic Wizarding World of Harry Potter (both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley) as well as Volcano Bay Water Theme Park, a slew of new hotels, as well as the announcement of Universal’s Epic Universe, a new theme park currently under construction at the resort.
- Filling the shoes of Bill Davis will be current president of Universal Studios Hollywood, Karen Irwin.
- The move marks a return to Orlando for Irwin, where she began her Universal career, overseeing food and beverage and merchandise operations within the parks division before becoming president of Universal Studios Hollywood in November of 2016. While there, she oversaw the development and opening of The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash.
- Filling her spot in Hollywood will be Tom Mehrmann, who is currently the president of the new Universal Beijing Resort in China, as he steps into a newly created position overseeing the Universal Parks of the Pacific Rim, overseeing Universal Studios Hollywood, and the Universal Resorts of Beijing and Japan.
- This news follows an announcement in November that Current Universal Parks and Resorts Chairman and CEO Tom Williams plans to retire on March 16th, 2022, with Mark Woodbury, Current Vice Chairman of Universal Parks and Resorts and President of Universal Creative filling the role after his departure.