As part of Bob Iger’s restructuring of The Walt Disney Company, Bruce Vaughn will return as chief creative officer of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI).
Vaughn will return as chief creative officer, and will also co-lead WDI alongside Barbara Bouza, president of Walt Disney Imagineering. For those not familiar, WDI is responsible for designing and building the company’s theme parks and attractions.
Vaughn will begin in the role on March 20, 2023. He and Bouza will report directly to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
“Together, Bruce and Barbara will partner closely to connect visionary creative thinking with project opportunities and flawless execution and delivery. With significant developments under way and more on the horizon, this dedicated focus toward creativity and innovation will help us deliver next-level experiences well into the future,” said D’Amaro in the announcement.
Returning to the Fold
Bruce Vaughn previously worked at Disney for more than two decades, nine of those years co-leading the entire WDI organization as chief creative executive.
He originally left in 2016 to pursue other opportunities, including stints at Dreamscape Immersive, and most recently at Airbnb, where he developed and led the Experiential Creative Product team.
“I’ve remained an Imagineer at heart, so I’m thrilled to join Barbara and reunite with this phenomenal global team of creators and innovators during this pivotal time,” Vaughn said of his return.
The Full Memo
Here is the memo Josh D’Amaro sent out regarding the return of Bruce Vaughn:
WDI Organizational Announcement: Welcome Back Bruce Vaughn
As Bob Iger often says, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney. In fact, as we look at our company’s 100-year history of bringing captivating and memorable storytelling to life, the consistent thread that binds us together as a company across all segments is our ability to drive innovation through creative projects.
In Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, we continue to invest in new endeavors that deliver the most compelling experiences, immersing our guests around the world in the stories they love most. In the past few years, we have found ourselves at the crossroads of a wave of new technology and a seemingly unlimited amount of new stories and franchises, allowing us to develop groundbreaking new experiences. Of course, none of this comes to life without a strong commitment to creativity and innovation by the amazing team at Walt Disney Imagineering.
With this in mind, I’m pleased to share that effective March 20, Bruce Vaughn is returning to Walt Disney Imagineering as the Chief Creative Officer. Bruce will co-lead the organization with WDI President Barbara Bouza, with both leaders reporting directly to me.
Together, Bruce and Barbara will partner closely to connect visionary creative thinking with project opportunities and flawless execution and delivery. With significant developments under way and more on the horizon, this dedicated focus toward creativity and innovation will help us deliver next-level experiences well into the future. To best accomplish this, they will be working together to swiftly identify the most effective way to structure Imagineering.
Many of you have had the opportunity to work with Bruce previously. He has a deep history with Imagineering, serving for more than two decades in leadership roles including with WDI R&D, as well as co-leading the entire WDI organization as Chief Creative Executive for nine years. Bruce left Disney in 2016 to become CEO and CCO of Dreamscape Immersive where he worked with teams to advance virtual reality technologies for mainstream location-based entertainment, and most recently was with Airbnb where he developed and led the Experiential Creative Product team.
Please join me in welcoming Bruce back to Disney.