News Catherine Powell's position eliminated

CAV

Well-Known Member
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I hate to say this but I feel like Disney is going to take a big hit on this new star wars hotel. Yes I understand it's an experience with only certain days but I don't think there is enough people who can afford this. It will be popular but I don't think it's sustainable long term.

As for star wars land, I view it like pandora. Visually appealing but lackluster. Where Disney wins is their magic IPO and Disney specific characters. Star wars land is a waste.
Seems to me to be a one and done. I have zero interest in it. Like I said before, there are tons of huge Star Wars fans. There are tons of huge Disney fans. There is only a few ounces of huge Star War/Disney fans.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Great question.

Kalogridis is already 66, and close enough to retirement age that he could take the fall easily. But it would be pretty ruthless and very bad PR to not let the Busboy of '71 retire gracefully with all the bells and whistles. Jim MacPhee is the CFO and SVP of Operations, but it's just silly to keep blaming this stuff on relatively blameless Ops people so I would hope they'd also let him coast towards his impending retirement gracefully. Thomas Mazloum is the SVP of Resorts for WDW, but again, stop blaming the Ops people for messes non-Ops execs create.
Surprised Thomas Mazloum is at Disney. When he did not get the Crystal CEO job of Crystal Cruise Line where he worked as COO he left Crystal. The Crystal CEO job went to Tom Wolber who was an exec at Disney.
 
But that's something we'd never heard of before, and Ms. Powell only assumed her role in March, 2018 barely a year before it opened. My hunch is that all of those cuts were already well under way from Mr. Chapek when Ms. Powell took the Parks job for Disneyland and WDW.
Maybe ..... just maybe .... Mr. Chapek is smarter than he's given credit for and he moved Ms. Powell into this position 18 months ago JUST so that he could have a fall guy if things with SWGE didn't work out. Brilliant I tell ya .... that's gold Jerry!!
 

Surfin' Tuna

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Maybe ..... just maybe .... Mr. Chapek is smarter than he's given credit for and he moved Ms. Powell into this position 18 months ago JUST so that he could have a fall guy if things with SWGE didn't work out. Brilliant I tell ya .... that's gold Jerry!!
At face value, I think this is a ridiculous idea, but I have been thinking it for a few days myself. She was always nice, and she seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the parks (might have been an act - who knows). Last week most of the key execs were at WDW for several days of team building and meetings. It was odd that she was not there, but it all makes sense now.
 
At face value, I think this is a ridiculous idea, but I have been thinking it for a few days myself. She was always nice, and she seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the parks (might have been an act - who knows). Last week most of the key execs were at WDW for several days of team building and meetings. It was odd that she was not there, but it all makes sense now.
Ridiculous, yes. And I only said it half-seriously. But it would be a very political-type thing to do and we all know how political things get in Management, especially Senior Management. This is one of those things that make you go, "hmmmm".
 

Rodan75

Well-Known Member
True, and no amount of fanboy defenses will change that.

‘’But the ROTR delays, the AP blackouts, the hurricane, the prices”—I can hear the excuses. They’re all valid. I agree that those are factors. (I also didn’t hate my time in SWGE, and I think its needs could be easily addressed.)

But the industry word on the street tells this story: “Nobody cares about Batuu. SWGE opened without its headliner attraction. It should’ve used the reliable IP from the original trilogy. Somebody overreacted and blocked APs, then approved a public relations campaign that scared the public; and when the blackouts lifted, word-of-mouth was too poor to save the land. Where’s Darth Vader?” That’s the story in the entertainment industry. That’s the version that’s affecting business decisions.

This is the kind of story Deadline would’ve followed back when it was a scrappy industry blog known for investigating rumors with almost perfect accuracy.
This public execution allows them to treat the RoTR opening as a second chance. Betcha we see a slew of changes by the time RoTR opens as part of a relaunch. I’m assuming the menu changes @wdwpro mentioned as well the much desired increase in streetmosphere, changes in background music and some form of Jedi training area where folks can use their newly purchased light sabers.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Maybe ..... just maybe .... Mr. Chapek is smarter than he's given credit for and he moved Ms. Powell into this position 18 months ago JUST so that he could have a fall guy if things with SWGE didn't work out. Brilliant I tell ya .... that's gold Jerry!!
I think it was more luck than plan. Al and Meg were given similar roles to essentially keep them “busy” while the clock ran out. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t the case again, but then an excuse to get Powell out came along and the Bobs took it.
 

IanDLBZF

Well-Known Member
This public execution allows them to treat the RoTR opening as a second chance. Betcha we see a slew of changes by the time RoTR opens as part of a relaunch. I’m assuming the menu changes @wdwpro mentioned as well the much desired increase in streetmosphere, changes in background music and some form of Jedi training area where folks can use their newly purchased light sabers.
Wouldn’t be surprised TBH if this does happen.
 

JustChecking

New Member
This public execution allows them to treat the RoTR opening as a second chance. Betcha we see a slew of changes by the time RoTR opens as part of a relaunch. I’m assuming the menu changes @wdwpro mentioned as well the much desired increase in streetmosphere, changes in background music and some form of Jedi training area where folks can use their newly purchased light sabers.
Would anyone be so kind as to point me to the post on menu changes?

ETA: Never mind, I found it. Bummer I missed that one in real time. I have thoughts!
 
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Mat Cauthon

Well-Known Member
This public execution allows them to treat the RoTR opening as a second chance. Betcha we see a slew of changes by the time RoTR opens as part of a relaunch. I’m assuming the menu changes @wdwpro mentioned as well the much desired increase in streetmosphere, changes in background music and some form of Jedi training area where folks can use their newly purchased light sabers.
I get it that they wanted someone to fall on their sword for this initial failing but it seems a bit premature. All those changes could be made without her firing. What if they add those changes, open ROTR and the hotel and crowds still aren't there. Now who do they blame. Why not wait for the full experience to be open before deciding if you need a public execution for failure or not.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
So who's going to take the fall for the impending "failure" of the Star Wars resort? Which it inevitably will, if priced as expected, IMO.
Whoever came up with and green lighted the idea should take the fall. Maybe we'll be proven wrong, but it just seems like a bad idea all round to open a multi-day role playing hotel in the middle of WDW at a massive price point. In this case, I suspect the problem will be that it's too immersive and within a few months it will be converted into a standard Star Wars-themed hotel and probably expanded so they can make some money off it at a lower price.

We're already seeing that the Star Wars brand has its limits, and I can't see how they'll find enough people to fly to Orlando and fill this hotel at those (or any) prices day in, day out all through the year.
 

lee.moles.disney

Well-Known Member
Stupid decision to let her go and why oh why am I reading online that this was because let go because of Galaxy’s Edge?

She had nothing to do with it did she?
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
In these cases, nothing get green lighted without the boss's approval but Iger had his soldiers do the dirty work. She's just another victim of the $2B of "cost synergies" Iger said was coming. Having her position "eliminated", that's part of the cost synergy. Compared to other ego filled CEOs that their arrogant egoes matches their net worth, he is the opposite. And he is busy promoting his book on the TV shows. However Iger needed to show his claws and act when his direct reports --former ESPN head cocaine habit was exposed by his cocaine dealer (Iger made him resign the following Monday) and former Pixar head who could not control his 🍸🍺 and behavior while on the job. ( was put on a 6 month "sabbatical") before being cut loose. Disney PR probably leaked to the media on Powell's departure before others knew. What was surprising, no exec publicly "thanked her for her service and we wish her well.." . In the movie Margin Call that showcased real world Wall Street, the CEO John Tuld in the film at an emergency 4am meeting with his exec team stated " There are three ways to make a living in this business. Be first, Be smarter or Cheat. ".
 
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jpeden

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
What’s the perception on Kalogridis as a whole? I was always under the impression he had a passion for the parks, but I could be wrong. Or do they just like to play up the fact that he’s worked there since opening day as a feel good point?

Wasn’t it Kalogridis that stopped the ToT from becoming Mission Breakout?
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I get it that they wanted someone to fall on their sword for this initial failing but it seems a bit premature. All those changes could be made without her firing. What if they add those changes, open ROTR and the hotel and crowds still aren't there. Now who do they blame. Why not wait for the full experience to be open before deciding if you need a public execution for failure or not.
The decision to get rid of Powell was likely made when she was promoted. Star Wars presented a cause for accelerating the timeline.

Whoever came up with and green lighted the idea should take the fall. Maybe we'll be proven wrong, but it just seems like a bad idea all round to open a multi-day role playing hotel in the middle of WDW at a massive price point. In this case, I suspect the problem will be that it's too immersive and within a few months it will be converted into a standard Star Wars-themed hotel and probably expanded so they can make some money off it at a lower price.

We're already seeing that the Star Wars brand has its limits, and I can't see how they'll find enough people to fly to Orlando and fill this hotel at those (or any) prices day in, day out all through the year.
Staggs is already gone, so he can’t be fired.
 

JustChecking

New Member
I get it that they wanted someone to fall on their sword for this initial failing but it seems a bit premature. All those changes could be made without her firing. What if they add those changes, open ROTR and the hotel and crowds still aren't there. Now who do they blame. Why not wait for the full experience to be open before deciding if you need a public execution for failure or not.
Disney’s end of fiscal year is next week. They will likely have a shareholder call the first week in November. Iger’s gotta have SOMETHING to tell the investors as to why SWGE didn’t perform any better in Orlando than it did in Anaheim. Enter Catherine Powell.

Someone will take the fall for ROTR not immediately solving all of SWGE problems, but not Chapek. Maybe some poor sap who’s been desperately trying to get the thing running for the last six months. I’m deeply skeptical that ROTR will draw many new not-ordinarily-Disney-people to Disney, even if it is the best ride ever created. Hard core SW fanboys don’t care about this land, for whatever reason. People who don’t like SW don’t care about this land, for obvious reasons. It’ll be the same folks who love Disney who will love ROTR, and for them, the ride could be an incredible addition to their experience and satisfaction. But that’s not who Disney wants.
 
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