Tom Williams, the Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts said today that he will retire in March 2022, and current Universal Vice Chairman Mark Woodbury has already been chosen as his replacement. Woodbury will assume Williams’ role beginning January 1. The announcement was just made this afternoon.
Williams’ retirement comes after a long career with Universal that includes leading Universal’s Parks division for more than 22 years. He has been with the company for more than a third of a century.
Mark Woodbury, Universal’s current Vice Chairman of Parks, has also been employed by the entertainment giant for more than 30 years. At this time, his role also includes serving as the company’s Creative Division President.
“Tom’s journey has been the journey of [the] parks itself,” said Brian Roberts, Comcast Chairman, and CEO, in a statement. (Comcast is Universal’s parent company.) “His vision and leadership has made parks a vital and vibrant business and has helped define modern theme park entertainment for us and the entire industry.”
Tom Williams was on board to assist in opening the Universal Studios Florida theme park when it opened to the public. He became the park’s President in 1990 and was then promoted to Chairman of Universal’s Parks and Resorts in the very late 1990s. He was instrumental in overseeing Universal’s domestic park expansions, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida in 2010. He also oversaw the openings of Universal’s three international parks in Osaka, Singapore, and Beijing, China.