Hail to the Chief!

According to the OC Register’s Around Disney blog:

George Kalogridis, who previously oversaw Anaheim theme parks’ operations, today took over as the new president of the Disneyland Resort — the largest private employer in Orange County, Disney announced today.

Kalogridis, 55, is replacing Ed Grier, who announced his retirement last week and had his last day Friday.

Kalogridis most recently worked as the chief operating officer for the Disneyland Resort Paris.

But he served at the Anaheim resort at a crucial time — serving as senior vice president of Disneyland Resort operations from 2000 to 2002 when Disney’s California Adventure and Downtown Disney opened.

Kalogridis was brought in specifically for the addition. Now, California Adventure is in the middle of a $1-billion expansion, which began two years ago.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Disneyland, particularly during this exciting time of significant expansion,” said Kalogridis in a prepared statement.

“I look forward to working with the cast who make the magic for our guests every day and partnering with the Orange County community to ensure the Anaheim Resort Area continues to thrive,” he said.

For 38 years, Kalogridis has worked at the company, starting as a busboy at the opening of the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida and rising up to EPCOT’s vice president. He has also served as a general manager of the Grand Floridian Beach Resort, in human resources at Walt Disney World and on the development team for the Paris park.

“George is a proven strategic thinker whose operational expertise and strong leadership skills will serve him well in leading the Disneyland Resort,” said Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a prepared statement. “We are excited to welcome him back to California and look forward to his leadership as we continue to expand and grow this beloved place.”

About 20,000 employees work at the Disneyland Resort, which includes two theme parks, Downtown Disney and three hotels on 560 acres in Anaheim. The resort contributes about $3.7 billion annually to the local economy, according to a Disney press release.

The folks at the Around Disney blog also have a Q&A with George up.