Universal Studios Hollywood names new president

Universal Studios Hollywood has named Karen Irwin, an executive from Orlando, Fla., to take over as president and chief operating officer of the theme park.

Irwin replaces Larry Kurzweil, who held the post for 17 years and oversaw a series of upgrades, including the addition of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction in April and Transformers: The Ride-3D in 2012.

In her most recent post, Irwin oversaw merchandising and partnership deals for Universal Parks & Resorts, the umbrella company that oversees all Universal theme parks.

Kurzweil, who has been with Universal Studios Hollywood for 20 years, plans to join a private equity firm specializing in the food industry. He will also serve as president and chief executive of the Lemonade Restaurant Group, headquartered in Los Angeles.

The change in leadership takes effect in December. 

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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