BREAKING: Barbara Bouza Named President of Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob Weis Moving to Consultant Role Ahead of Lake Nona Move
Bob Weis, who has been President of Walt Disney Imagineering for a few years, will be stepping into the role of Global Imagineering Ambassador while Barbara Bouza becomes President. This news comes as Walt Disney Imagineering prepares to move from California to Lake Nona, Florida.
Here is the letter Bob Weis sent to fellow Imagineers to announce the change:
As Imagineers, we are inspired by our history and by those who helped shape it. Disney Legend Marty Sklar — who was a close friend and mentor to me — served as a visionary leader at Imagineering for over five decades and, ultimately, became our Global Imagineering Ambassador. In this role, Marty was able to invest in our legacy as a way to build our future, mentor and advocate for our talent, recruit the next generations of Imagineers, and help record our history through his writing.
Today, I am excited to announce that I will follow Marty’s lead and assume the Global Imagineering Ambassador role beginning next year. I am confident about transitioning into this role now after working with Barbara Bouza over the past 16 months and knowing that the future of Imagineering is secure under her leadership. Barbara has taken on increasing responsibility during her tenure, and I am continually impressed with her talent, her leadership and the relationships she’s already built across our company. I’m also very grateful to have the full support of Josh D’Amaro, who has demonstrated his commitment to Imagineering time and time again and his belief that WDI is critical to our company’s future and overall success.
Bouza joined Walt Disney Imagineering in June 2020 as President of Business Operations, Design & Delivery. She has more than 25 years of management, design, and strategic planning experience, most recently serving as Co-Managing Director, Principal of Gensler Los Angeles. In this collaborative leadership role, she brought strategic design management to highly innovative clients, such as Netflix, Amgen, JPL/NASA, Debbie Allen, and the City of Hope. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), she was the 2019 AIA Los Angeles President, and also served on the Board of the Southern California Chapter of the International Interior Design Association.
As President of Business Operations, Design & Delivery, she has been overseeing an interdisciplinary team of creative and technical experts from a wide range of backgrounds. In this role, she has worked collaboratively with stakeholders across the business to design, develop, and execute projects for Disney theme parks, attractions, resort hotels, cruise ships, and retail, dining, and entertainment centers.
“I’ve known Barbara for a few years, and I’m thrilled to have her join our management team as we lead Imagineering through a time of tremendous opportunity,” Weis said at the time of her hiring. “Barbara is an extraordinary designer and accomplished industry leader who will be an incredible asset to this organization, as Imagineers continue to deliver innovative entertainment and immersive experiences for guests around the world.”
In the community, Bouza was recognized by The Los Angeles Business Journal as Executive of the Year: Women Making a Difference. This honor recognizes women who lead by example, successfully blending effective business vision with a passionate commitment to positively making a difference, both in the world of business and in the communities they serve. She has also been named by Real Estate Forum magazine as a Woman of Influence: California.
Bouza is on the Board of Directors of Imagine LA, a leading not-for-profit dedicated to mobilizing the community to end the cycle of family homelessness and poverty, and is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects, and the Women Presidents’ Organization. Additionally, she works with nonprofit organizations such as Girls, Inc. and Dress for Success.
Bouza’s career has also been influenced through her work with Foster + Partners and Morphosis. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and studied in the Graduate Diploma Program at the Architectural Association in London. Bouza’s work has been published nationally and internationally.
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