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  1. #1
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    Marty Sklar exits Imagineering job for parks post

    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsAr...-DISNEY-DC.XML

    QuikQuote:
    Marty Sklar, a 50-year veteran at Disney, stepped down as vice chairman and principal creative exec for Walt Disney Imagineering in the wake of Pixar executive vp John Lasseter being named principal creative adviser of the theme park division. In his new position, Lasseter reports to Disney CEO Robert Iger, bypassing parks and resorts management.


    Sklar will serve as Walt Disney parks and resorts Imagineering ambassador, a role as yet undefined.


    "I knew that as my 72nd birthday and my 50th Disney anniversary approached, I would look for new challenges," Sklar wrote in a memo to Disney employees. "So when Jay Rasulo (chairman of Walt Disney parks and resorts) asked me to talk about the future, I was 'all ears' to a challenging proposal Jay made. It not only seems to be one of those ideas that is overdue, but it was clear to me that I am the perfect casting (perhaps the only candidate) capable of originating and organizing this assignment."

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    Not five minutes ago I hung up from a phone call with an Imagineering friend who had called me to tell me this news. So I came here to post, and found it already announced! And here I thought I had a scoop!

    No surprise at this news at my end. Glad to see Marty will still contribute his talents to the Disney organization in the new capacity. He's a great communicator and teacher. And much of the greatness of what Disney Theme Parks are, can be attributed directly to him and his creative inspiration to thousands of Imagineers over the years.

    Opus1guy

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    I dunno.

    In the movie industry, when a studio executive is asked to leave or voluntarily leaves because of conflicts, the usual face-saving story is that the executive is a getting a "indie prod" deal (independent producer). An indie prod deal can be thought of as a severance package, if you will.

    Hmmm, that quote from Sklar sure seems like an "indie prod" deal to me.

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  5. #4

    I will be interested to see how this will change things in the Imagineering dept. I have several friends who are Imagineers, and every 6 months or so they fear the new round of lay offs. One finally got his lay off right before the holidays. I've heard that some projects have been temporarily shelved because of lack of people to work on them. The Imagineers I know haven't been too happy with the way things have been going for the past few years. I hope a change means good things for all involved.


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    In past discussions around imagineering many of us here on the pad, and imagineers at Disney, have stated they have learned a lot from old timers and what they did in the parks - and many of the ideas or ways of engineering get re-tinkered for new ideas. IMHO this will be marty's new job - being out and about amongst all parks in the world sharing information and stories about what was done and what can be done.

    True, his tangible contributions over the last few years have been minimal - but he's 72 and will exit someday soon - and this is a graceful way for him to pick the date and time of his exit - without impacting the company or creating any political furor upon his exit. In many companies this is the "special projects" position - find yourself something new to do in a year or you're gone - but I bet i marty's case they will let him hang on as much as he wants - especiallly since ambassador's usually have no decision power.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Stroup
    ...Pixar executive vp John Lasseter being named principal creative adviser of the theme park division
    OK I'm surprised nobody's buzzing with THIS part of the news!!
    MousePlanet Staff Copy Editor. Keep calm and carry on! Learn how you can travel with just your carry-ons, at my Travelite FAQ Web site! Go Team MousePlanet! Dream goal: To qualify for the Boston Marathon. Successfully reached my 2013 goal to do all runDisney half-marathons! Oakland Marathon ('14: 4:21:09); IMS Arizona Marathon ('14: 4:22:02; 2nd in age group); Inaugural 2014 WDW Dopey Challenge; Wine & Dine ('13-1:53:07 5th in age group); Nike Women's Half SF ('13-1:58:04); Santa Barbara Wine Country Half ('13-1:57:26); Summer Breeze Half ('13-1:50:54 current PR); Princess 1/2 ('13-2:14:12); Tinker Bell 1/2 ('13-2:08:16); Disneyland 1/2 ('13-1:55:04; '12-2:55:08; '11-3:39:02; '06-3:39:32), WDW 1/2 ('13-2:09:52; '12-3:46:09; '06-3:08:12; '05-2:21:05; '04), Big Sur 1/2 ('12-2:26:18; '04-2:11:21); WDW Marathon ('03); Honolulu Marathon ('92, '81). Half Fanatics (#3868) & Marathon Maniacs (#8951) Double Agent!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani
    OK I'm surprised nobody's buzzing with THIS part of the news!!
    That promotion for John was announced when the Pixar buyout went through a couple weeks ago. Mr Lutz on Miceage also had a big breakdown in a recent column about what it meant to Disney as well, it's not new news.

  9. #8
    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani
    OK I'm surprised nobody's buzzing with THIS part of the news!!
    We did buzz about it - a lot - when it was originally announced. Search the threads...
    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Here is the entire memo written to Disney Employees...

    Several years ago, as I looked ahead toward my 50th year at Disney, I set two major goals for myself: first, to play a key role in the development and achievement of a spectacular 50th celebration for Disneyland; and second, to complete more than four years of creative support and leadership with the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.

    I knew that as my 72nd birthday (February) and my 50th Disney anniversary (June) approached, I would look for new challenges, knowing I am not ready for a lounge chair by the pool and tennis court. So when Jay Rasulo asked me to talk about the future, I was "all ears" to a challenging proposal Jay made. It not only seems to be one of those ideas that is overdue, but it was clear to me that I am the perfect casting (perhaps the only candidate) capable of originating and organizing this assignment (I do have an ego, even if I hide it 99% of the time!).

    Jay has asked me to become Imagineering Ambassador for the Disney Parks and Resorts segment, communicating the Disney difference. I will be representing the energy, passion and talent of the Disney Imagineers I have helped to lead creatively and symbolically for so many of those 50 years.

    Imagineers have proved over and over again that we are the creative leaders in the Parks and Resorts industry. We continue to build on that tradition by what each of us in Imagineering's 140-some disciplines help to create, design, engineer and build. Having John Lasseter and the Pixar group as creative advisors will make Imagineering even stronger. But there are lots of audiences, outside and inside Disney, that need to continue to be, or become, "true believers." As Walt Disney often said, you're only as good as your next project!

    I am in the process of defining this program for Jay now, but it will likely include all or most of these elements and audiences: recruiting new talent at colleges and universities, developing traveling exhibitions such as the one now "on the road" organized by The Henry Ford Museum, communicating about the talents - present and legendary past - of Imagineering, speaking at conferences and conventions, etc. Three examples of the latter: I had the biggest program audience and the highest rating at IAAPA last November; teamed with Ray Bradbury in "An Evening with Ray and Marty," we spoke to an oversold and turn-away audience at the Cerritos Library on January 17; and I'll be the featured speaker on campus at UCLA on March 7 (I'll be hitting Kevin Rafferty up for some new one-liners).

    For me, this is like another "blank sheet of paper," and filling it with imagination and passion is an exciting challenge.and a familiar one. After all, for nearly half a century, I've been doing that creatively, and as a creative leader of some of the most talented, committed and inspired people in the world: my fellow Imagineers. It's been great fun, and we have filled those blank pages with some of the most imaginative ideas, designs and experiences the world has ever seen.

    At some point in the next year, as I develop and begin to implement this Imagineering Ambassador program, I plan to enter into a different kind of arrangement with the company. In the meantime, I'll be moving my office to the Studio to make it clear this is a Parks and Resorts role, and will continue to share the traditions about Imagineering that Jay has asked me to communicate to the public, to other Disney segments, and to future Imagineers: the risk-taking that Walt began and instilled in all of us, the spirit of innovation that drives our collective talents to accomplish breakthrough experiences for our guests, the great story-telling that we know John Lasseter will contribute to, the "no fear" approach to the next blank sheet of paper.

    We have the greatest playing field in the world in the 11 Disney parks, the five Disney vacation destinations, the two Disney cruise ships, new concepts such as "Adventures by Disney," and so many present and future opportunities. I know you all will keep on dreaming big dreams, and doing the newest and best in all the world.

    I'll still be looking over your shoulders, and cheerleading as your Imagineering Ambassador!

    Check out my photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  11. #10
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    And here is a link to the memo Jay Rasulo wrote regarding Marty Sklar...

    http://www.o-meon.com/pages/news%26f..._02-15-06.html

    Check out my photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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    "...and I'll be the featured speaker on campus at UCLA on March 7 (I'll be hitting Kevin Rafferty up for some new one-liners)."

    Hee, hee.

    You go, Marty.

    Opus1guy

  13. #12

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer
    And here is a link to the memo Jay Rasulo wrote regarding Marty Sklar...

    http://www.o-meon.com/pages/news%26f..._02-15-06.html
    WHOA. Too bad Mr. Sklar hasn't very busy the last 50 years. OMG to have been there from the start.I can't imangine the roller coaster ride (no pun intended ) he has gone through. I hope when the time comes. He enjoys long and gloriuos retirement.

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