As had been widely expected, an era will end this year, with John Lasseter set to leave Disney permanently.
Lasseter, the creative content officer of Disney and Pixar for over a decade, took a leave of absence from his job at the end of last year, following accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct. It was always looking difficult for Lasseter to return, in spite of rumors suggesting Disney was trying to find a way back for him. And now comes the news that he’ll be leaving the company permanently as of December 31st 2018.
The official statement released by John Lasseter (via THR) reads as follows:
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.
And Disney CEO Bob Iger chipped in with:
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 is expected to have a consulting role until the end of the year. No replacements for him have been named thus far.