Easily trumping Paramount house-cleaner Brad Grey's Christmastime hit of 33-year studio veteran Wayne Llewellen as he vacationed in South Africa, Disney chairman Dick Cook takes his place in recent cold-blooded layoff lore with yesterday's badly timed dispatching of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group President Nina Jacobson, who found out she was losing her job in between her partner's contractions. Reports the LAT:
Jacobson, 40, one of Hollywood's most respected movie executives, was fired Monday morning by her boss, studio Chairman Dick Cook, when she called him from the hospital room where her partner was about to deliver their third child. Despite the record-breaking performance of Disney's current release, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," she was hearing rumors and wanted reassurance that her job was safe. It wasn't. [...]
Cook called Jacobson a "good friend, great colleague and tireless worker." Acknowledging that the timing was bad, Cook said, "I begged to see her face to face and she wanted to talk to me right then. This was not what anybody wanted."
In the absence of all the facts, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was not how Cook wanted to whack his onetime good friend/great former colleague/tirelesss ex-worker. If Jacobson did indeed force his hand while on the phone, their unexpectedly career-related conversation may have made the huge, Mickey Mouse-shaped flower arrangement he'd planned on sending to the hospital room with a heartfelt note reading,"Congratulations on your latest bundle of joy! Let's meet tomorrow and discuss your immediate promotion to stay-at-home mom!" seem redundantly cruel.