More Disney Parks Executive Management Changes Announced Following Christine McCarthy’s Departure

Katie Francis

More Disney Parks Executive Management Changes Announced Following Christine McCarthy’s Departure

More Disney Parks executive management is changing, with the biggest effects at Walt Disney World Resort. Recently, CFO Christine McCarthy announced she was stepping down, to be replaced by Parks CFO Kevin Lansberry. Lansberry’s position will be taken over by Andy Hopkins, who will serve as Interim Parks CFO.

New Changes to Disney Parks Executive Management

Melissa Valiquette

Melissa Valiquette, Vice President of Magic Kingdom, will become the Vice President of Industrial Engineering & Park Operations Line of Business.

Sarah Riles

Sarah Riles will take Valiquette’s place as Vice President of Magic Kingdom. Riles is currently the Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Maryann Smith

Maryann Smith, Vice President of Customer Experience, will replace Riles as Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Faron Kelly
Image source: Forbes

Faron Kelly will replace Smith as the Vice President of Customer Experience. Kelly currently serves as the Vice President of Disney Sports, which includes ESPN Wide World of Sports, runDisney, and Disney Water Parks. His replacement has yet to be named.

Those listed above will transition to their new roles by July 9.

Christine McCarthy’s Departure

Christine McCarthy will be stepping down and taking a family medical leave of absence. She will stay on as a Strategic Advisor.

Christine McCarthy 1
Image source: Smith College

“Christine McCarthy is one of the most admired financial executives in America, and her impact on The Walt Disney Company during 23 years of dedicated service cannot be overstated,” CEO Bob Iger said. “She is stepping down from her CFO role as she takes family medical leave, but has graciously offered to move into an advisory position to assist her successor in assuming the duties she has so expertly handled these many years.”

“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity Bob provided me to serve as CFO of this iconic company and am proud of the work my talented team has done to position Disney to capitalize on the business possibilities that lie ahead,” McCarthy said. “Although I am leaving the CFO role, I look forward to helping with the transition and will always be rooting for the success of my extended Disney family, who have shown time and again that determination, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence are an unstoppable combination.”

McCarthy has been with The Walt Disney Company since 2000. In 2015, she was appointed to the CFO position. Her contract was previously set to expire in December 2022 but it was renewed through 2024.

In her role, she supervises Disney’s global finance organization, which includes such responsibilities as corporate alliances and partnerships, corporate strategy and business development, investor relations, risk management, and global product and labor standards.

McCarthy is known for her controversial quote, “We can cut portion size, which is probably good for some people’s waistlines,” back when Disney Parks stated they may reduce food portion sizes in order to increase profits.

In order to avoid searching for both a new CFO and a new CEO at the same time, it’s speculated that the Disney Board of Directors will extend Bob Iger’s contract. When Iger returned in late 2022, he signed a contract for only two years with the intention of finding a replacement by then.

It’s rumored that McCarthy and Iger butted heads over spending, which led to her resignation.

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Author

  • Katie Francis

    Katie is a lover of all theme parks and an avid reader. Her favorite rides are Spaceship Earth and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. You can find her daydreaming of the Florida sun, and you can reach her at katie@wdwnt.com.