It looks like Disney will be losing one of its chief architects by the end of this year. John Lasseter, who was instrumental in forming Pixar and bringing about the current Renaissance of Walt Disney Animation, will be officially leaving the House of Mouse, Disney announced on Friday.
Up until his departure, he will assume a “consulting role” at the company. This isn’t exactly out of left field. Lasseter was accused of sexual misconduct last year in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and since went on a sabbatical, with his future hanging in the balance.
Here is the official statement:
Following his sabbatical, John Lasseter will assume a consulting role at The Walt Disney Company until December 31, 2018, at which time he will be leaving the company.
“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,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We are profoundly grateful for his contributions, 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.”
“The last six months have provided an opportunity to reflect on my life, career and personal priorities,” said John Lasseter. “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 of the opportunities to follow my creative passion at Disney.”
As of this writing, it’s unclear who will take his place as chief creative officer, or if it will be any one person. When he stepped down, it was reported that a brain trust of talented animation legends would be filling the void, but we don’t know if that is a possible longterm solution.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of Pixar and Disney, but luckily, the studios have proven in recent years to be much bigger than one man.
Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.