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Philippe Gas takes the helm at Euro Disney SAS

Saturday, 27th December 2008 at 23:43

Philippe GasOn 1st September 2008, Philippe Gas stepped into his new role as CEO of Euro Disney S.A.S., the management company of Euro Disney S.C.A. and Euro Disney Associés S.C.A., the operator of Disneyland Resort Paris.,

Replacing Karl Holz, who announced his departure eight months ago, Philippe Gas has effectively assumed the position of “president” of Disneyland Resort Paris, alongside Ed Grier of Disneyland Resort in California, Meg Crofton of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Toshio Kagami of Tokyo Disney Resort and Bill Ernest of Hong Kong Disneyland. Holz is now president of New Vacation Operations at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

The operating company, known more casually amongst fans as simply “Euro Disney SCA” or “Euro Disney”, to avoid the lengthy exposition of the group’s complicated structure seen above, released a quick biography of our new CEO:

Philippe Gas

Philippe, 45, is the first CEO of Disneyland Resort Paris who was a member of the opening team. As a 17-year Disney veteran, Philippe has extensive experience with both Euro Disney and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts worldwide. After having completed his law studies at the University of Paris Assas, he joined the Disney organization in 1991 as Finance Controller and held a variety of positions at the Resort over the next six years. In 1997, he was promoted to Director, Corporate Compensation and moved to The Walt Disney Company headquarters in Burbank, California. In 2000, he served as Regional Vice President, Human Resources, The Walt Disney Company Asia-Pacific, overseeing the HR strategy in 13 countries in Asia – first based in Tokyo and then in Hong Kong.

In 2004, he returned to Disneyland Resort Paris as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, where he was responsible for all HR Operations for its more than 12,300 cast members. In 2005 he was appointed Senior Vice President, International Human Resources, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and in 2006, he was promoted to his current position as Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts worldwide. In this role, he was responsible for the Human Resources strategy and services for nearly 100,000 Cast Members.

The official corporate website also posted an interview with Philippe, with comments from Gas about his recent work for Disney, his priorities at Disneyland Resort Paris and — most exciting of all — his plans for the future:

Question: You have returned to Disneyland® Resort Paris after working several years abroad for Disney. What is it like?

Philippe Gas: I am proud to return to Disneyland Resort Paris, the place where it all started for me. I joined the Disney organization in 1991 and was a member of the opening team at Disneyland Resort Paris. In Paris, the United States and Asia, I have held a variety of positions, notably in defining global human resource strategies. I have learned a lot from my international experience, but Disneyland Resort Paris has always held a special place in my heart. I am happy to be back and to see how much the Resort and its more than 13,000 Cast Members have developed over the years. It is our Cast Members who provide the service and ensure the high quality experience for which Disney is known. I am glad to lead our efforts in building the Resort’s future.

Question: Disneyland Resort Paris is the #1 tourist destination in Europe. What are your priorities in the next years?

Philippe Gas: It is a particularly exciting time for Disneyland Resort Paris, optimistic and dynamic. I am grateful to join such a great international team. Together, we are committed to the company’s long-term strategy and growth as Europe’s top tourist destination. We will keep working on driving results towards profitability, providing a high-quality guest experience, and investing in the personal and professional development of our Cast Members. I have had the chance to grow within this company and I hope this will inspire others.

Question: What are your future projects?

Philippe Gas: Imagining, creating, developing and growing is, and always will be, top of mind for us. We have already served, entertained and touched the hearts of more than 200 million visitors. We intend to continue exceeding expectations to remain Europe’s most-visited tourist destination. We would like to welcome more and more families, by continuing to grow and provide the quality and creativity that only Disney can create. That’s why we are always innovating and working on future development. We are studying a variety of projects – some would enhance exciting assets, while others are on a grander scale. For example, we are interested in increasing the Resort’s hotel capacity, adding to our convention facilities, or enhancing the Disney® Village. We work and plan all the time – today, tomorrow, and for the years to come.

The thoughts of increasing hotel capacity, enhancing Disney Village and adding to convention facilities are all expertly-worded in order to give an impression of the company’s priorities yet not officially announce a single thing. “Increasing” hotel capacity, for example, may not technically mean new hotels, nor might “enhancing” Disney Village mean constructing new buildings.

The years of Karl Holz brought the resort huge prosperity and several brilliant new attractions, with a quite remarkable return to the kind of Disney quality and service we remembered from earlier years.

However, the resort and its parks are not quite in the home straight just yet. And, as we head into 2009 with the two-year 15th Anniversary coming to a close and the impending challenge of a successful follow-up to contend with, we can only wish Philippe Gas the best of luck — and hope, beyond the business ability, he has the same dream in his heart as we do…

— The official statement from the company can be found here (PDF).

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  • i congratulate you on your new position as the new C.E.O for Disneyland Paris. My 1st experience of Disneyland was in 1998 in Florida, and it was a truly magical experience where we become engrossed in activites such as pin trading and found the staff to be excellent and obliging. We could truly see that it was in thier best interest to ensure that our stay was of a truly high standard. In Paris however, I found the staff to be quite different. They were aggressive, definitly not as obliging and seemingly reluctant to help. I find this to not at all be a part of the Disney promise. The whole ambiance seemed to say “Give-me” and yet not much, to my standards, was being given back. One experince in Florida, if i can recall correctly was, that it just so happened to be raining and my young daughter was crying. Feeling frustrated i said out loud to my wife, “what are we doing here on this awful day!?” A member of staff over heard this and having done so, approached me and gave me a thick wad of disney vouchers consisting of discounts for popcorn and beverages. I do not feel that we would recieve such hospitality in paris. One further memory of this dimal visit was my making a reservation for the “Silver Spur Steak house” in fronteirland for christmas day. Upon arrival, after a short wait, myself, my wife and my 3 children were seated at a table that i found to be in a most displeasing location. We were right by the galleyway of the resteraunt and i did not feel comforatble at the prospect of all of the the other wating customers, being able to watch us eat whilst they waited. I politely apporached a member of staff and asked if it would be possible to be re-seated. I explained my concerns but found that the woman completaly disregarded me. If fact, i had to approach her once again as i as was unsure if she had understood. At this point i was confronted with another member of staff who basically said “take it or leave it” or word to that effect. and yet there were many tables available which we could have quite easily been moved to. I undertand that christmas must be a busy time for disney, but i am still unhappy about the way my complaint was handled. So unhappy in fact, that i had to inconvenience my family further and we had to leave the park in order to find a resteraunt that met our standards and conveniencd our children.

    I have been 9 times to florida and 11 times to dineyland paris so i can assure you i am speaking from experience. I have stayed at disney’s Sequioa Lodge around 4 times and am now on personal terms with one of the managers jean-luke. I find him to be one of the few people who is truly a credit to Disney.unfortunatley not all disney staff reflect disney the way jean-luke does.
    I’m sorry i’ve had to be the first person to email you with concerns like this but i feel it has to be done since that one ignorent seating hostess totally spoiled our disney experience.

    Wishing you a prosperous new year

  • To me, the Disney employees have always been very polite and they always do their best to ensure a happy stay for me and my friends.

  • To me, the 1st Disney experience was in France when I went on my 1st trip to Europe in June of 1996, as a young girl in love I loved every bit of Disneyland, the whole day at the theme park was exhausting but the experience was beautiful!!!!I later took my girls (twins of 11 years) to Hong Kong and loved it again with a stay at the hotel, I now wish that my daughters and husband would make a trip to Paris and would like to get a good deal, can you pls suggets the best for June of 2010 dates around 3rd week of June. Disney employees have always been very polite and they always do their best to ensure a happy stay for me n my girls!!! Thanks

  • Leila Haidar  6th June 2011, 13:37

    Dear Mr. Gas, CEO
    I am 63 years old lady who wanted to please her 11 years old grand-daughter. So I planned to take her to Euro Disney. However, because her father is out of town, I couldn’t get a Visa since she needs his permission to travel . So after I have made all the booking arrangement I had to cancel it because time is running . I was informd that you are going to charge me 400 Pounds for the cancellation. I couldn’t beleive my ears . Your terms of conditions says that 30 pounds cancellation fee but you didn’t specify how much you are going to charge in addition to the 30 Pounds. This is not fair at all. Do you think I enjoy booking ad cancelling ? This was the first time and honestly I am very disappointed from such a treatment. Please put yourself in my place before you became the CEO. I am sue you would feel the same. I really need this money back in order to take her next year to Euro Disney, I am positive you can do something about it. I am sure also you are married and have children whom you love and you do anything to make them happy.
    Thank you.

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