Universal Orlando President Bill Davis retiring after 15 years

Hollywood park President picked as replacement

Universal Orlando’s President, Bill Davis (Discover Universal Blog)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Parks & Resorts has announced that after 15 years serving as president of Universal Orlando, Bill Davis will officially retire.

Davis retires after a career spanning decades in the tourism industry.

During his time at Universal Orlando he helped lead the resort through a historic expansion that included lands such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. and entire theme parks such as Volcano Bay.

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“Bill is a legend in our industry and here at Universal,” said outgoing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Williams. “His passion for our business, for our team members and for excellence have inspired all of us. Orlando team members know Bill has been a constant presence in our parks – and I will always remember my frequent walks through the parks with Bill as we reviewed our business and, more importantly, built our friendship.”

Karen Irwin, president of Universal Studios Hollywood, will become president of Universal Orlando Resort on Jan. 1.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD -- Pictured: (l-r) Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; Colin Trevorrow, Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts; Karen Irwin, President and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood; Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Frank Marshall, Producer; and Mark Woodbury, Vice Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts and President of Universal Creative attend the grand opening celebration of 'Jurassic World -The Ride' at Universal Studios Hollywood on July 22, 2019 in Universal City, California (Universal Studios Hollywood)

“She (Irwin) has been with Universal Parks & Resorts more than 30 years – serving in a wide range of increasingly responsible roles that included oversight of food and beverage operations, merchandise and partnership development,” Universal said in a news release. “Ms. Irwin will be returning to Orlando, where she began her career with Universal. Most recently, she led Hollywood’s development and opening of The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, which has recently been awarded Outstanding Achievement – Attraction by the Themed Entertainment Association.”

Last month, Universal Parks & Resorts announced other leadership changes coming in the new year.

Mark Woodbury, who is currently president of Universal Creative and vice chairman, will become the chairman and chief executive officer for Universal Parks & Resorts following the retirement of long-serving Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Williams.

Tom Mehrmann, who most recently served as president of Universal Beijing Resort, will take on a newly created role as Ppresident, Pacific Rim, Universal Parks & Resorts, overseeing Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Beijing Resort.

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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.