Could a rumored change to Disney executive contracts lead to the possible departure of Kathleen Kennedy as the head of Lucasfilm?
According to Insider, Disney CEO Bob Chapek is rumored to be making changes to Disney executive packages. Executives would no longer be “secure” in their position for multiple years. Contracts could be year-to-year and performance-based going forward.
“One rumor going around Disney is that Chapek plans to stop putting executives on multi-year employment contracts to get greater flexibility to hire and fire, a sign of how he may be seeking to put a bigger stamp on the company. The studio exec also predicted Chapek plans some restructuring at the company this fall.”
This rumored change to executive contracts is said to already be behind many high profile exits at Disney, including PR consigliere Zenia Mucha and general counsel Alan Braverman. Legendary studio head Alan Horn is rumored to be exiting the company entirely as the same time as former Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Kathleen Kennedy’s contract was renewed in 2018, and will be up for renewal this Fall.
While Bob Chapek has hinted that Kathleen Kennedy’s future at Lucasfilm is secure as recently as March, such a drastic change in how Disney handles its contracts could prompt Kennedy to exit on her own.
Kennedy, appointed by George Lucas himself before selling the company to Disney, has been a contentious figure in Star Wars fandom for years.
While The Force Awakens debuted incredibly strong back in 2015, on her watch the Star Wars franchise was in steep decline until The Mandalorian hit Disney Plus and started to undo some of the ill will of the fandom.
Kennedy has been blamed by many fans for the downfall of Star Wars, with some claiming Lucasfilm under Kennedy’s watch has gotten more and more political.
It was reportedly Kathleen Kennedy’s idea to theme Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on the Disney Sequel era, and not the Original Trilogy as was initially planned.
Galaxy’s Edge initially opened with a thud.
Kennedy greenlit Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the production was troubled almost from day one. It became a box office flop, leading to further Star Wars spinoff stories being relegated to Disney Plus for now.
So, no, Kathleen Kennedy’s tenure hasn’t been all that great if you ask many Star Wars fans.
But would Disney outright fire her? She’s been a large figure in Hollywood for decades, and it’s unlikely that Disney would just show her the door. Pushing a powerful woman in Hollywood out the door current year is a “bad look.”
But a change in executive contracts could incentivize her to simply leave on her own. Nobody wants to be the bad guy. Especially Mickey Mouse.
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