Bob Weis, former Imagineering chief, takes position with Gensler firm

Bob Weis, former president of Walt Disney Imagineering, has accepted a position with Gensler, a California-based architecture and design firm.

Weis retired as global ambassador for Imagineering at the end of 2022. In a podcast produced by D23, Disney’s official fan club, he said he was leaving the company — but not retiring overall.

“I’m retiring from Disney. … but don’t plan to see me on a golf course or trout fishing. I can’t imagine myself not working and not doing interesting things all the time,” he said during the podcast.

“I’ve got some great things going on with the company still. I’ve got a book we’re writing about [Imagineer] Marty Sklar’s history based on this massive archive, and I’m also developing a screenplay for Disney+, so there’s plenty to do,” he said. “That will keep me well-connected.”

Barbara Bouza has been WDI president since December 2021. She worked at Gensler from 2001 to 2020.

Weis’ title at Gensler is global immersive experience design leader.

Weis’ 30-year career with the Walt Disney Co. began as a college student selling popcorn on Main Street USA at Disneyland. His Imagineering resume includes major projects such as Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai Disneyland theme parks.

“His leadership and expertise in entertainment design will enhance the ways people interact with and thrive in the spaces and experiences we create around the world,” Gensler co-CEO Andy Cohen said in a news release. “Design has the power to shape how we experience life. Bob is joining us just as we emerge from the pandemic as people are craving compelling, visceral experiences in the places where they live, work, and play.”

Gensler, based in San Francisco, has 7,000 employees in 140 countries.

“In his new role, Weis will collaborate with Gensler’s global leadership platform to envision and bring to life unique experiences for clients across a variety of industries where the firm is immersed — from entertainment, lifestyle, hospitality, retail, sports, mixed-use, and cultural institutions to wellness and workplace,” according to the Gensler news release.

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