After months of uncertainty we now know the conclusion of the John Lasseter story. The Chief Creative Officer for the Walt Disney Company, will be exiting at the end of the year, but will serve as a consultant to the company until December 31st.
Disney did not name replacements for Lasseter, but Jennifer Lee, director of Frozen, and Pete Docter, director of Inside Out, are expected to take on greater roles at Disney Animation and Pixar, respectively.
In announcing Lasseter’s departure at the end of the year, Robet Iger, Disney chairman and CEO said,
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, 61, also issued 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.
The decision comes after a six sabbatical, On Nov. 21 last year, Lasseter acknowledged the problematic behavior and said he would take a six-month leave of absence in order “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.”
Stay tuned to Disney Film Facts on any updates on this story as it breaks.