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Universal Chairman and CEO Tom Williams set to retire in 2022

Williams has held the role since 1999.
Credit: AP
Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO Universal Parks & Resorts. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Come 2022, Universal Parks & Resort will have a new name leading the charge as longtime chairman and CEO Tom Williams is set to retire in 2022.

The theme park giant made the announcement Tuesday that Williams would be leaving his post on March 16, 2022, and Vice Chairman and President of Universal Creative Mark Woodbury will be taking his place.

Williams has worked in tourism for more than 50 years and has been involved with Universal Orlando since it opened in the Sunshine State in 1988. He'd step into the role of being the park's president in 1990 before becoming chairman and CEO in 1999.

During his time with Universal, the theme park says he continued to "lead the expansion of Universal theme parks – including across the globe – with theme park destinations in Osaka, Singapore and Beijing."

“Tom’s journey has been the journey of Parks itself,” said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of 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.”

Over the years, Williams also led the development of rides and "immersive lands" like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World.

Woodbury will enter his role as the new chairman and CEO in 2022 with more than 30 years under his belt with the theme park. Prior to taking on this role, Woodbury was responsible for the planning and design strategy for Universal parks worldwide and the design and creation of ride experiences, themed lands and more.

“Mark has unique and essential insight into everything that makes Universal Parks & Resorts successful,” said Jeff Shell, chief executive officer, of NBCUniversal. “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.”