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Universal Orlando Resort president Bill Davis retiring, replaced by Karen Irwin

“Bill is a legend in our industry and here at Universal,” said Tom Williams, who is also retiring.

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Universal Orlando president Bill Davis is retiring after 15 years, with Universal Studios Hollywood president Karen Irwin taking over from Davis on January 1, 2022.

During his time at Universal Orlando in Florida, Davis has overseen projects including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley), as well as Volcano Bay.

“Bill is a legend in our industry and here at Universal,” said Tom Williams, who is also set to step down as CEO and chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. “His passion for our business, for our team members and for excellence have inspired all of us.”

“Orlando team members know Bill has been a constant presence in our parks – and I will always remember my frequent walks through the parks with Bill as we reviewed our business and, more importantly, built our friendship,” Williams added.

Tom Mehrmann taking on Pacific Rim role

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Irwin will become president of Universal Orlando Resort after working for Universal Parks & Resorts for more than 30 years. She led the development and opening of Universal Studios Hollywood and The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash.

In addition, Universal Beijing president Tom Mehrmann is taking on a newly created role as president of Pacific Rim at Universal Parks & Resorts. He will oversee Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Beijing Resort.

As confirmed last month, Williams is departing from Universal Parks & Resorts on March 16, 2022. He will be replaced by Mark Woodbury, with Michael Hightower taking over as president of Universal Creative.

“Tom’s journey has been the journey of parks itself,” said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, parent company for NBCUniversal and Universal Parks & Resorts. 

“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.”

Images: NBCUniversal

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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