Hotel Online 
News for the Hospitality Executive


Veteran Disney Executive, George Aguel, Moves to New Role

To Focus Exclusively on Corporate Sponsorships and Third-party Operators
for Disney's Theme Parks Worldwide

By Jason Garcia, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

June 19, 2012--One of the Walt Disney Co.'s best-known executives in Orlando -- and across the U.S. meetings-and-conventions industry -- has a new assignment.

George Aguel, a 22-year Disney veteran and a former chairman of Visit Orlando, the area's main convention-and-visitors bureau, will now focus exclusively on lining up corporate sponsors and third-party operators for all of Disney's theme-park holdings worldwide.

Aguel's responsibilities had previously been split between sponsorships and resort sales and services, which include group-and-convention sales.

The reassignment comes as Disney seeks outside operators -- known as "operating participants" in Disney theme-park parlance -- for Shanghai Disneyland, the $4.4 billion resort it is developing in China.

"Given the importance of these partnerships and our ambitious, global growth goals in this area, a more dedicated leadership focus is required," Leslie Ferraro, executive vice president of global marketing and sales for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, wrote Friday in a memo to Disney employees.

Disney first tapped Aguel to oversee "corporate alliances" in 2010. Since then, Disney's theme-park division has signed or renewed a number of large agreements, including deals with Starbucks Coffee Co., General Motors Co., Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

But some Disney projects that depend on third-party businesses have languished, including long-stalled plans at Disney World to redevelop Pleasure Island in the Downtown Disney retail district.

The decision to have Aguel focus solely on sponsorships was among a series of executive changes announced Friday within Disney's sales and marketing operations.

Replacing Aguel as head of resort sales and services will be Rick Continelli. In addition to the group-and-convention business, Continelli will also oversee youth, military and weddings, sports programs and events, as well as the Disney Institute, a business-consulting unit.

Disney said Aguel, who is the immediate past chairman of Visit Orlando and remains on that tourism-marketing agency's executive committee, will serve out his term on that board. or 407-420-5414


(c)2012 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.