John Lasseter is going to be leaving his post at Disney at the end of this year. The news comes six months after Lasseter took a leave of absence as he cited ‘missteps.’ Until the end of 2018, Lasseter will retain a consulting role with The Walt Disney Company.
Bob Iger commented on Lasseter’s departure saying, “John had a remarkable tenure at Pixar and Disney Animation, reinventing the animation business, taking breathtaking risks, and telling original, high quality stories that will last forever. We are profoundly grateful for his contribution, which included a masterful and remarkable turnaround of The Walt Disney Animation Studios. One of John’s greatest achievements is assembling a team of great storytellers and innovators with the vision and talent to set the standard in animation for generations to come.”
Lasseter also released a statement saying, “The last six months have provided an opportunity to reflect on my life, career and personal priorities. While I remain dedicated to the art of animation and inspired by the creative talent at Pixar and Disney, I have decided the end of this year is the right time to begin focusing on new creative challenges. I am extremely proud of what two of the most important and prolific animation studios have achieved under my leadership and I’m grateful for all the opportunities to follow my creative passion at Disney.”
Lasseter is one of the founders of Pixar Animation Studios. When Pixar was purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 2006, he became the chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. In recent years, he has become the face of animation for the entire company.
At age 61, Lasseter is known for his contributions to animation. Wearing Hawaiian shirts, he has been known for his family-friendly demeanor and exuberance for the projects he works on. Unfortunately, that was just one side of the story. Some of his actions in recent years he admitted were mistakes. This led to his sabbatical and now departure from Disney and Pixar. Under Lasseter’s leadership, Pixar has garnered more than $6 billion at the box office. Disney Animation has also been incredibly successful.
It is expected that Pete Docter of Inside Out, and Jennifer Lee of Frozen, will be taking on added leadership roles at both Pixar and Disney Animation.
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