Last November, citing missteps, John Lasseter stepped away from his responsibilities at The Walt Disney Company. At the time this was to be for a six-month leave of absence. As the six-month period wraps-up, speculation about Lasseter’s future has run rampant among Disney fans. There might be some answers coming in the near future, however.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that John Lasseter might be returning to The Walt Disney Company in a new creative role. Under the possibility being discussed, Lasseter would be given creative control but less managerial responsibilities. His ability to hire and fire would also be “removed or contained,” it is being reported.
John Lasseter has been carrying a lot of the credit for recent successes at Walt Disney Animation and also with Pixar Animation Studios. His career with The Walt Disney Company began as a Jungle Cruise Skipper at Disneyland during his summer breaks from college. After graduating from CalArts, he was hired as an animator at Walt Disney Productions. He worked there until 1984 when upon cancellation of a project he was working on led to him being dismissed. He went on to join Pixar in the fall of 1984. This would eventually lead him back to Disney when Pixar was acquired in 2006. At that time, he was made the chief creative officer of both Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Feature Animation, now Disney Animation Studios. In November 2017 he stepped aside “to start taking better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve.”
Disney has not commented on this story yet and at this point, it isn’t known what role, if any, John Lasseter will have moving forward at The Walt Disney Company. What do you think his role should be moving forward? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.