Disney has just eliminated Catherine Powell, 15 year Disney employee, after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge didn’t perform.
Catherine Powell was President of Disney Parks West, overseeing Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. According to the Hollywood Reporter “Powell’s post has been eliminated, and she will help in the transition as her staff reports to Disney Parks, Experiences & Products chairman Bob Chapek.”
Disney is clearly in panic mode now with all kinds of discounts and promotions and today they announced a blitz of media promotion and Ms. Powell’s departure.
It sounds like she answered to Bob Chapek, so is this her fault or was she just following orders?
There are several factors contributing to the less than stellar performance of Galaxy’s Edge. The price increases for tickets. Black-out dates for annual passholders and cast members. Special reservations to even get into Disneyland’s version, and you had to stay on property to get a guaranteed reservation. Rise of the Resistance won’t open till December in Walt Disney World and January, 2020 in Disneyland.
Powell has been with the company since 2004. She has had several positions since joining the company.
According to BlogMickey.com:
“Catherine is a graduate of Oxford University where she studied PPE (Politics Philosophy Economics). She is fluent in English, French and German. She was a trustee of the Sydney Opera House. In 2015, Catherine was elected a member of the Chief Executive Women in Australia, and in 2016 received the Women Worth Watching award from Profiles in Diversity Journal.”
It just seems strange to me that if Bob Iger is going to push for more women in executive positions at Disney, Catherine would be cut. Especially with her background and recognition. So either she really did something bad, or she the scapegoat.
But either way, the end of the fiscal year is quickly approaching and cuts are happening. Then Disney’s discounts and media blitz. Something is up.