Universal’s CEO to step down in March 2022; replacement already chosen

Credit: Universal Studios

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.

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Credit: Universal Studios

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.

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Credit: CityWalk/Universal Studios

“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.”

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Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts introduces Gov. Ron DeSantis during a press conference at NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2020.

CEO Tom Williams/Credit: Universal

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.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!