Disney poised to axe resorts marketing

Entire 25-strong UK marketing team to be cut as operations move to Paris and Orlando

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts UK is to axe its 25-strong marketing division and will centralise operations in Paris and Orlando.

The division is restructuring and sizeable job losses are expected among the teams working on both Disneyland Resort Paris (DLRP) and the US parks. The company is in consultation with its staff over the job losses.

The restructure follows the recent departures of director of marketing Pat Mitchinson and vice-president marketing and sales UK & Ireland Jo Rzymowska. Mitchinson left last year to join Timberland as European marketing director (MW July 24, 2003) while Rzymowska left earlier this month “to take time out”. The remaining senior marketer at the department is DLRP head of brand Tamara Sanghvi.

The Parks & Resorts division faced upheaval only 20 months ago when DLRP and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts UK were integrated.

Parent company Walt Disney has come under pressure recently following a hostile bid by cable company Comcast. Board in-fighting over the position of long-serving chief executive Michael Eisner is no nearer to being resolved.

Disney’s theme parks showed some improvement in the company’s most recent quarterly results, reported earlier this month, but DLRP has been hit particularly badly by falling attendance figures and a financing crisis (MW December 18, 2003).

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts sponsored ITV’s programming over the New Year and launched a television advertising campaign with the strapline “Need magic? It’s closer than you think”.

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