SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 (UPI) -- George Lucas has named veteran Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy co-chair of Lucasfilm as he prepares to retire.
Lucas said he plans to retain his position as CEO of the San Francisco-based company that produced the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, but adding Kennedy will allow him to move forward with retirement plans, Entertainment Weekly reported Friday.
"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," Lucas said in a statement. "It was important that my successor not only be someone with great creative passion and proven leadership abilities, but also someone who loves movies."
Kennedy, who began her producing career as a collaborator to Steven Spielberg, has had seven of the movies she produced nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, including "E.T." and "War Horse," the Los Angeles Times reported. She is a former president of the Producers Guild of America.
"George and I have talked about the opportunities that lie ahead for the company, and as George moves toward retirement I am honored that he trusts me with taking care of the beloved film franchises," Kennedy said in a statement. "I feel fortunate to have George working by my side for the next year or two as I take on this role — it is nice to have Yoda by your side."