Disneyland Paris hit by top UK exit

Theme park forced to seek new UK marketing director as ‘frustrated’ chief quits for IT operation

Bill Jones, Disneyland Paris UK managing director for marketing and sales, is quitting after admitting he is frustrated working in the UK for an organisation run from Paris.

Jones was brought in to Disneyland Paris in October 1994 to turn round its lacklustre performance in the UK. He joined from Thomas Cook in Canada, where he was executive director for global travel management.

He is leaving at the end of this month to take up the managing director’s post at an unnamed IT support services company, which is listed on the Stock Exchange.

But he leaves before achieving his goal of doubling the number of UK visitors to Disneyland Paris from last year’s 1.3 million – 12 per cent of the total 10.7 million.

Jones says he is interested in a more wide-ranging management role, rather than working in marketing alone.

He adds: “The frustration is born out of what I want to do. Unfortunately you cannot have much influence from a satellite office.

“The UK is only one of Disneyland Paris’s markets, and that limits the scope for initiative to some extent. The appeal of the new job is in its scope, which is a full profit and loss and balance sheet role.”

Disneyland Paris has now started the search for Jones’ replacement, and is understood to be considering both internal and external candidates.

Earlier this year, Disneyland Paris launched its first ad campaign specifically targeted at UK consumers.

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