Tom Williams is chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks & Resorts (UPR), reporting directly to NBC Universal Vice Chairman, Ron Meyer.
Mr. Williams oversees all of Universal parks and resorts worldwide, including Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort – both of which are in the midst of historic expansions.
Universal Studios Hollywood includes a movie-based theme park and studio tour, immersive attractions and a Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex. Universal Orlando Resort includes three theme parks, Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and a new water theme park, Universal’s Volcano Bay. It also includes Universal CityWalk and five on-site hotels.
Beyond domestic growth, Mr. Williams has also led UPR’s significant international growth –
most recently including Comcast NBCUniversal’s purchase of full ownership in Universal Studios Japan, which had operated under a license agreement. He is currently leading development of Universal Beijing, a destination which will be jointly owned by Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co., Ltd., a consortium of four state-owned companies, and Universal Parks & Resorts.
UPR also has a licensing agreement with Genting International for Universal Studios Singapore at Resort World Sentosa.
In recent years, Mr. Williams led development and creation of Universal Orlando’s, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, which have become global entertainment phenomena. Both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan also feature The Wizarding World of Harry Potter within their theme parks.
Prior to his appointment as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for UPR, Mr. Williams was President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Orlando.
He joined Universal in 1987 as part of the Universal Studios Florida opening team and led the design and development of all operational aspects for the new park, which opened in 1990. From there, he oversaw Universal’s expansion into an entire Orlando destination. Both Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure have won numerous awards, including the industry’s most prestigious honor, the coveted “Applause Award,” presented by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA).
Mr. Williams began his career with Universal Parks & Resorts (formerly Universal Studios Recreation Group) at the Yosemite Park & Curry Company, where he was Vice President of Hotels and Restaurants.
Mr. Williams has been inducted into the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions Hall of Fame and is a member of the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame. He is a founding trustee of both World Class Schools (Florida) and United Arts of Central Florida and is on the Advisory Board for Give Kids the World. He is a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Parks & Resorts