Mark Woodbury to Become Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Of Universal Parks & Resorts

Universal Parks & Resorts announced today that Vice Chairman Mark Woodbury, who is also currently President of Universal Creative, will become the division’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer upon the retirement of current Chairman and CEO Tom Williams.

Williams, a 33-year veteran of Universal Parks, will step down effective March 16, 2022. Woodbury, who has been with NBCU Parks for more than 30 years, will take over as CEO effective January 1, 2022. As Williams does now, Woodbury will report directly to Jeff Shell as Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal.

“Mark has unique and essential insight into everything that makes Universal Parks & Resorts successful,”Shell made the statement in a statement. “Beyond his ability to create incredibly innovative guest experiences, he has tremendous experience with strategy, financials, stewardship of the Universal Parks brand and so much more. He has also been a key part of planning for the future of Universal Parks & Resorts. All this makes him perfect for this role.”

Although 2020 was a challenging year for the theme parks, Comcast parent NBCU reported a strong recovery at the end October in its Q3 earnings. Revenue from the parks unit almost doubled in comparison to the Covid-decimated 2020 period. The units saw increases of $1.1 billion and $1.4 billion. The quarter’s adjusted EBITDA for the parks division was $434million, which includes pre-opening costs associated with Universal Beijing Resort. Adjusted EBITDA lost $174 million in the quarter preceding.

As vice chairman, Woodbury has been responsible for all planning and design strategy for Universal Parks & Resorts worldwide. In his role as president, Universal Creative, he was responsible for design and creation for all Universal attractions, including the destination hotels, Universal ride experiences, Universal ride experiences, and Universal ride experiences. Woodbury most recently oversaw the creation of Universal Studios Beijing.

Williams was part the team that opened Universal Studios Florida in 1988. he became the park’s president in 1990, and transformed Orlando with multiple parks, hotels and an entertainment complex. He was named Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts in 1999 and continued to lead the expansion across the globe with destinations in Osaka, Singapore and Beijing.

“Tom’s journey has been the journey of Parks itself,”Brian Roberts is Chairman and CEO at Comcast Corporation. “His vision and leadership has made Parks a vital and vibrant business and has helped define modern theme park entertainment for us and the entire industry.”

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