Thursday, January 17, 2008
Poor Unfortunate Souls...
As some of you have noticed, Greg Emmer is leaving the Disneyland Resort. I, for one am deeply saddened and wish he would stay on, but I also wish Greg well...
He was a much more palatable person to deal with than Ed Grier, and certainly more friendly, not to mention less stiff and uncomfortable with guest. He was truly one of the TDA Suits that I respected the most. When he was here with Matt Ouimett, we had a great team. He will be missed. I would hope that this doesn't portend a longer tenure for Jay Rasulo than we have already had to deal with. Word from inside the Resort is not good for Jay, but he's nothing if not a survivor. Please, Jay... do us a favor and retire. NOW.
But that got me to wondering...
What you ask? Well the question that came up was: "Where are they now?"
All those that have left the company over the past three or four years. Most of whom needed to go and at least one that we wished would have stayed. So I thought I'd compile a list of who's who and where they are.
So to speak...
We can't begin any discussion of former Disney executives without discussing the Head Cheese... or at least, former Head Cheese.
Michael Eisner - After his fall from grace, Eisner has now established a new company known as Tornante Co. and has purchased several properties in the last couple years. His firm now owns Topps baseball cards and Bazooka Joe. It appears the former Disney CEO has gone from Mice to Bubble Gum... let's hope he has someone like Frank Wells to temper his massive ego.
Paul Pressler - The man despised much more than Eisner and truthfully, the one I blame even more than the former CEO. A marketing guy without a soul, Pressler is the one that not only precided over, but actually is responsible for the plummet in quality at Disneyland and the rest of the parks in Disney's world. The 800 million dollar "Extreme Makeover" at DCA should be charged to Pressler's bank account. After his retirement from Disney, he became the CEO of Gap and he quickly showed he knew less how to run a clothing company than a entertainment company. He lasted from the fall of 2002 to early 2007... by then the Board knew they had a lemon on their hands and he "retired" rather than face an embarrassing firing. As one Gap employee noted: "Maybe he was the wrong guy at the wrong time". Well, duh... we, the Disney Geeks/Fans could have told you that one and saved you four years of suffering.
Cynthia Harriss - The short of it is to just look at what happened to Paul Pressler. Ms. Harris followed Pressler over to The Gap after resigning as President of the Disneyland Resort and was appointed president of Gap brand in May of 2005. She left in February of 2007, the same month that her boss, Pressler also resigned. Hopefully she will follow Pressler to his new job so that they can both be credited with trying to destroy three companies... the third time is the charm, you know.
Barry Braverman - The one time wunderkin that could do no wrong in Michael Eisner's eyes was told unceremoniously in June 2005 that his job was no longer needed... a polite way of saying: "get the @#^@ out, before we kick you out". Where Barry Braverman is now? Well, if you find out please tell me... I can't really mention his name to my Bothans. They seem to threaten not to send me anymore new information if I bring him up. Could it be they've quietly disposed of the body and want it keep quite? Probably not, Braverman has kept a quiet profile since leaving his position at WDI a little more than two years ago. Surely it doesn't take that long to fake a new resume? Wait a minute... DCA... maybe he should just change his name?
David Stainton - The former head of Walt Disney Feature Animation, who promptly resigned from Disney the day the Pixar acquisition was final... he could see the writing on the wall. Too bad he couldn't see how badly he was hated at the Hat Building. He was a Suit that should never, ever have been put in charge of animation. His belittling of the animators is widespread and he helped create the destructive culture that almost destroyed WDFA. He's established a production company since leaving Walt Disney Feature Animation that is named after his dog... I wonder if this is a metaphor for all the dogs he plans on putting out? Hopefully, Stainton doesn't treat his new writers and artist like the ones over in Burbank. I don't think his production company will survive if he does.
Tom Fitzgerald - Formerly at the top of the heap at WDI, Fitzgeral was sent packing(banished, really) to the development of Walt DIsney World where he's been working like a mad scientist to prove he's still worthy of John Lasseter's blessing. Hopefully he'll lay off all the 3-D projects he has been working on and do something with animatronics... just a little friendly advice, Tom.
Other than this sorry lot, there are a few others we could list, namely Don Goodman, president of WDI whose light at the Mouse is very quickly dimming. Several others whom I won't mention are also gone or have their Mouse careers on the chopping block as these words are being read.
And lastly, we come to what I call... my special "Wish" list for a retirement/firing/demotion or what-have-you:
Jay Rasulo - There have been rumblings that the man that took Pressler's place would be leaving within the next year and to that I say... That is too long to wait! Jay is the the one link that still needs to be replaced. I can only hope that the rumors I've heard are true... it would be a blessed day when he's no longer collecting a check from the Mouse.
Calling Matt Ouimett, calling Matt Ouimett? Where are you? I believe there is a position opening that we need you to fill...