James A. Rasulo
Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
James A. Rasulo was named president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in September 2002. He is responsible for Disney's renowned theme parks and resorts around the world--Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Resort Paris in France. Rasulo also manages the long-term growth and international expansion initiatives for the business, including the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort scheduled to open in September 12, 2005. In addition, Rasulo oversees the Disney Cruise Line; Walt Disney Imagineering, the organization that designs and builds Disney theme parks, attractions and other facilities; and Disney Regional Entertainment, including the popular sports-themed restaurants, ESPN Zone.
In 1998, Rasulo moved to Paris to become executive vice president, Euro Disney S.C.A. and served as president and COO in 1999 until being named chairman and CEO in May of 2000. He was credited with the many growth initiatives that transformed Disneyland Resort Paris into the top tourist destination in Europe. Rasulo was also at the helm during the March 2002 opening of Disneyland Resort Paris' second park, Walt Disney Studios, which marked the beginning of a new and exciting era.
In January of 2001, Rasulo welcomed the 100 millionth guest to Disneyland Resort Paris and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2002. During his tenure at Disneyland Resort Paris, Rasulo oversaw a massive period of real estate development and signed four major hotel deals with European tour operators and hotel chains for the construction of two thousand new hotel rooms on the Disneyland Resort Paris property and surrounding area. Also under his leadership, the Disney Village retail, entertainment and dining center expanded dramatically and saw record levels of revenue.
Rasulo joined The Walt Disney Company in 1986 as director and later became senior vice president of Corporate Strategic Planning, where he led strategy development for all real estate-based businesses in The Walt Disney Company's portfolio. He was senior vice president of Corporate Alliances from 1993 - 1995, organizing the sponsorship activities into a company-wide strategic business unit. Rasulo also spent three years with Disney Regional Entertainment, where he was part of the development of ESPN Zone.
Prior to joining Disney, Rasulo worked for Chase Manhattan Bank as an exchange rate/interest rate forecaster, and then became a manager of corporate planning for the Marriott Corporation.
A native New Yorker, Rasulo graduated from Columbia in 1978 with a degree in economics. He went on to earn an MA in Economics in 1982 and an MBA in 1984 both from the University of Chicago.
Among Rasulo's many interests and affiliations, he is the founding member of the Columbia University Club of France, and a board member for the American Chamber of Commerce in France.