Ed Grier, who most recently served as president of Disneyland Resort, has been named the new dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business.
Grier’s appointment, which is effective March 8, results from a national search that attracted more than 70 applicants, including sitting deans. Grier spent 29 years at the $38 billion, Fortune 500 Walt Disney Company, gaining extensive experience in international operations, union negotiations, brand management, administration, finance and planning, marketing, audits, capital projects and government relations. Grier also will serve as a professor of business at VCU.
“We have worked hard to develop a collaborative atmosphere among our schools of Business, Engineering and Medicine, and Ed Grier instantly grasped the potential of those efforts,” said Stephen Gottfredson, provost and vice president for academic affairs at VCU.
“He has the strong support of the business community as well as the school’s faculty and staff.”
Michael Rao, president of VCU, added, “Ed Grier’s leadership and ability in resource development and strategy will advance the VCU School of Business to be one of the best in the nation."
Grier began his professional career with Ernst and Young as a member of the audit staff in Pittsburgh, Pa. He joined Disney in 1981 and rose through the company’s ranks gaining broad cross-functional experience in the finance, marketing and operations divisions. He served in several executive leadership positions with responsibility for multiple lines of business both in the United States and abroad. Highlights include managing marketing development at Disneyland Paris, serving as general manager for operations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., and time in Tokyo as vice president, representative director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan. He was named president of Disneyland Resort in 2006.
Grier is a frequent lecturer on business leadership and has served on the California Travel and Tourism Commission and the California Economic Recovery Task Force. He also served on the boards of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California, and Health Central Hospital in Florida. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Duquesne University.
“Ed’s rich professional background fits perfectly with the mission of the VCU School of Business to produce students that are ‘business-ready,’” said Steven A. Markel, vice chairman of the Markel Corporation and chair of the VCU School of Business Foundation. “The entire board of the School of Business Foundation is excited to work with Ed to ensure that the school continues to offer an education that enables students to thrive after graduation." (Full Press Release at VCU School of Business website here)