John Lasseter, Head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, will officially step down by the end of 2018.
His resignation follows a six-month sabbatical prompted by allegations made by Pixar insiders and outside animators, who came forward last year to document a pattern of troubling behavior, which included “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.”
Today, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger released the following statement:
“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, who had previously acknowledged the behavior, also released a statement:
“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.”
At this time, Disney has not made any formal decisions as to a replacement, though according to The Hollywood Reporter, animators Pete Docter of Inside Out and Jennifer Lee of Frozen are expected to take on added responsibilities at Pixar and Disney Animation, respectively.