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Entertainment Weekly reports James Spader is in talks to join The Office as the CEO of Sabre. He will replace Jo Bennett, who was played by Kathy Bates. Bates is leaving her role as a guest star to focus on NBC's second season of law-comedy, Harry's Law. Spader's role as Robert California in the seventh season finale was more significant than the other guest stars. Spader is one of the few actors who wasn't attached to other projects.
Unlike Bates, who appeared in occasional guest spots, Spader's role as CEO would be increased to weekly appearances. A source close to the show said they didn't want to pass on the opportunity to recruit Spader after he was “so funny” in the finale. Sources also say, as CEO, California will have a strong impact on the Office employees, introducing them to his fondness for manipulation and a disturbing sexual vibe.
No updates are currently available on how this will affect the regional manager position however it seems likely it could go to one of the existing employees. Catherine Tate was a forerunner for the job, and there's no denying it could take two new actors to fill Steve Carrel's shoes as the incomparable Michael Scott.