The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that former Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis was let go by the Walt Disney Company on Friday. Lewis had led Disney’s time-share arm since 2006. While Lewis presided over a controversial expansion of DVC locations across WDW and a general reduction in benefits to DVC members, he also saw the first units in Anaheim and Hawaii. We wish him luck where ever he lands.
There are reports that sales had slowed for DVC units at WDW. I think that’s understandable given the general belt tightening going on in the weak economy. Slow sales certainly aren’t preventing Disney from building more units. Walls are up and equipment poised to move in on the next DVC tower, this time at the Grand Floridian.
On the various discussion boards, so take it with a small grain of salt, word is that a paperwork screw up and lack of appropriate follow up from Lewis could potentially derail the DVC portion of Aulani, the new resort in Hawaii. It probably won’t get that bad, but Disney was selling timeshare units before all the proper paperwork was filed.
No one likes to see low sales numbers; ultimately someone has to be responsible. It’s also likely that Lewis was a victim of the general shakeup that’s related to the re-organization of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division. New division chief Tom Staggs has long been unhappy with the structure of that division and has already begun to implement major changes.
Frankly, I would not surprised if more heads roll as Staggs wraps his head around exactly how bad things have become at Walt Disney World and the Disney Parks division.