Credit: Universal Studios

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

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

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!