Universal Parks long-serving CEO announces retirement

Mark Woodbury to step into new position in 2022

Chairman Tom Williams announcing Universal Orlando's newest theme park Epic Universe

ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Parks and Resorts announced leadership changes coming in 2022.

The company said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer will retire on March 16, 2022.

Williams moved to Central Florida in 1988 and was named Universal Orlando’s president in 1990. While in the leadership role at the park, Williams helped transform Orlando into a destination with multiple theme parks, hotels and an entertainment complex.

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He then went on to become the Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts in 1999. He has led development of groundbreaking theme park rides and immersive lands, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World.

He has since went on to help Universal Parks and Resorts open theme parks in Osaka, Singapore and most recently, Beijing.

“Tom’s journey has been the journey of Parks itself,” said Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, parent company for NBCUniversal and Universal Parks & Resorts.  “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.”

Taking the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer is Mark Woodbury.

Universal officials said Woodbury has been with the company for more than 30 years as vice chairman and president of Universal Creative.

See video below of Mark Woodbury talking about Super Nintendo World.

During his time he has been responsible for all planning and design strategy for Universal Parks & Resorts worldwide.

“Mark has unique and essential insight into everything that makes Universal Parks & Resorts successful,” said Jeff Shell, Chief Executive Officer, of NBCUniversal. “Beyond his ability to create incredibly innovative guest experiences, he has tremendous experience with strategy, financials, stewardship of the Universal Parks brand and so much more.  He has also been a key part of planning for the future of Universal Parks & Resorts.  All this makes him perfect for this role.”

Mark Woodbury will step into his new role effective January 1, 2022.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.