Barbara Bouza Named President of Walt Disney Imagineering as Bob Weis to Become Global Imagineering Ambassador

Barbara Bouza has been named the new President of Walt Disney Imagineering. With this promotion for Bouza, Bob Weis is moving from his role of President of Walt Disney Imagineering to the role of Global Imagineering Ambassador. This follows the example set by Disney Legend Marty Sklar who was a mentor to Weiss.

Bouza was most recently in the role of President of Walt Disney Imagineering for Business Management, Design, and Development. She was given this role earlier this year. Previously she was the President, Business Operations, Design & Delivery at Walt Disney Imagineering. This role she was given when she joined Imagineering in June of 2020. Before that, Bouza was the co-managing director, principal, of Gensler Los Angeles. This was a collaborative leadership role where she brought strategic design management for clients like Netflix, Amgen, JPL/NASA, Debbie Allen, and City of Hope. She also is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and was the 2019 AIA Los Angeles president. She was also on the board of the Southern California chapter of the International Interior Design Association.

The official Disney Parks, Experiences and Products website already reflects the change in leadership at Imagineering. The website describes her position as follows:

Barbara Bouza is president of Walt Disney Imagineering, where she heads the global creative, design and development teams behind Disney’s theme parks, attractions, resort hotels, cruise ships, and retail, dining and entertainment centers. She also leads a multidisciplinary team tasked with exploring, developing and bringing to market groundbreaking ideas that enhance and expand Disney’s global portfolio of experiences.

More can be read about Barbara Bouza on her official bio page on the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products website.

The change in leadership comes ahead of Imagineering’s move to Florida’s Lake Nona, where a new campus is being set up for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. The Walt Disney Company will relocate approximately 2,000 jobs to Florida during this move that was announced earlier this year.

Bob Weis was named President of Walt Disney Imagineering in 2016 ahead of the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort. He took over the role from Bruce Vaughn, who was Chief Creative Officer at Imagineering, and also his co-leader Craig Russell. Internally, Weis shared about his move in a letter that was sent out earlier today. It reads as follows:

“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.”

What do you think about this leadership change at Walt Disney Imagineering? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!