Walt Disney World has appointed its
first openly gay president in George Kalogridis.
According to Watermark,
Kalogridis is the park's fifth president, replacing Meg Crofton on
February 1, when she moved up to the post of president of Walt Disney
Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and Paris.
Kalogridis first joined Disney in 1971
as a bus boy at one of the theme park's restaurants.
Over the next 4 decades, he held
titles such as president of Disneyland Resort, CEO for Disney Resort
Paris, vice president of Travel Operations at Walt Disney World in
Orlando and vice president of Epcot.
“Kalogridis brings a tremendous
amount of knowledge and expertise to his new role at Walt Disney
World, including more than 40 years of experience at Disney parks in
a number of positions around the world,” the park said in a press
release. “Most recently as president of the Disneyland Resort, he
oversaw one of the most extensive expansion projects in the Resort’s
history – including the immensely successful transformation of
Disney California Adventure. Throughout his career, Kalogridis also
has proven himself to be a leader in the travel and leisure industry,
as well as a respected partner in the community.”
The Orlando Sentinel reported
that Kalogridis and his partner Andy Hardy live together in Golden
Oak, a Disney World subdivision, and have been together 12 years.
Also a Disney employee, Hardy works for Walt Disney Parks &
Resorts as a finance manager.
Kalogridis was born in Orlando and
attended the University of Central Florida.
In his new post, Kalogridis oversees