Bruce Vaughn Returning to Walt Disney Imagineering as Chief Creative Officer

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bruce Vaughn is returning to Walt Disney Imagineering as chief creative officer, after previously leaving the company in 2016.

What’s Happening:

  • Vaughn will return as chief creative officer and head the division alongside Barbara Bouza, president of Walt Disney Imagineering.
  • The two will report to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
  • Vaughn will begin in the role on March 20th.
  • The longtime executive previously worked at Disney for more than two decades and co-led Walt Disney Imagineering for nine years as chief creative executive.
  • He left the company in 2016 to become CEO and CCO of Dreamscape Immersive, a company that creates location-based virtual reality experiences. He joined Airbnb in 2021 as vice president of experiential creative product, where he led a team responsible for designing immersive offerings for Airbnb stays and experiences.
  • In a company memo about Vaughn’s return, D’Amaro highlighted CEO Bob Iger’s emphasis on creativity, as well as the opportunity for Vaughn and Bouza to work together on “significant developments under way and more on the horizon.” The two will also be working on a plan to find the “most effective way to structure Imagineering.”
  • The division has had a co-leadership model since 2009. Bouza had been leading the division herself since December 2021, after Bob Weis became Global Imagineering Ambassador and then retired.

What They’re Saying:

  • Bruce Vaughn said: “I’ve remained an Imagineer at heart, so I’m thrilled to join Barbara and reunite with this phenomenal global team of creators and innovators during this pivotal time.”
  • Barbara Bouza, president of Walt Disney Imagineering said: “With so many exciting projects under way and tremendous opportunities ahead of us, I look forward to partnering with Bruce to fuel creativity and deliver next-level experiences”
  • Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in the company memo: “In Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, we continue to invest in new endeavors that deliver the most compelling experiences, immersing our guests around the world in the stories they love most. In the past few years, we have found ourselves at the crossroads of a wave of new technology and a seemingly unlimited amount of new stories and franchises, allowing us to develop groundbreaking new experiences. Of course, none of this comes to life without a strong commitment to creativity and innovation by the amazing team at Walt Disney Imagineering.”