SAN FRANCISCO — Kathleen Kennedy will become co-chair of Lucasfilm, allowing George Lucas to more forward with his retirement plans. Lucas, who will become co-chairman of the board of Lucasfilm and will continue on as CEO, will work with Kennedy to transition into her new role. Micheline Chau remains president and COO of Lucasfilm, and will continue to focus on the day-to-day operations of the business.
“I’ve spent my life building Lucasfilm and as I shift my focus into other directions I wanted to make sure it was in the hands of someone equipped to carry my vision into the future,” says George Lucas. “It was important that my successor not only be someone with great creative passion and proven leadership abilities, but also someone who loves movies. I care deeply about my employees — it is their creativity and hard work that has made this company what it is today. As the company grows and expands I wanted to be sure the employees of Lucasfilm have a strong captain for the ship. I also care deeply about our fans and it was important to have someone who would carry on the passion and care that I’ve given the films over the years. So for me Kathy was the obvious choice, she is a trusted friend and one of the most respected producers and executives in the industry.”
“George is a true visionary,” states Kennedy. “I’ve seen him build Lucasfilm from a small rebel unit in Northern California to an international fully integrated entertainment company. I’m excited to have the chance to work with such an extraordinary group of talented people. George and I have talked about the enormous opportunities that lie ahead for the company, and as George moves towards retirement I am honored that he trusts me with taking care of the beloved film franchises. I feel fortunate to have George working with me for the next year or two as I take on this role — it is nice to have Yoda by your side.”
A seven-time Academy Award-nominated producer and executive, Kennedy has worked with Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, Barry Levinson, Clint Eastwood, David Fincher and Gary Ross. She previously held the position of governor and officer of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and currently serves as a member of the board of trustees. She is also a former President of the Producers Guild of America.
She will step down from her role at The Kennedy/Marshall Company, shifting her responsibilities to partner Frank Marshall. The Kennedy/Marshall Company is currently in post production on Lincoln, directed by long-time collaborator Steven Spielberg, whom Kennedy also produced for on the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park franchises, and The Bourne Legacy, written and directed by Tony Gilroy and produced by Marshall.