John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation, will leave those posts at the end of the year following acknowledgement last year some of his actions had left employees feeling “disrespected and uncomfortable.” He had taken a six month leave from the company last year.
The Walt Disney Company, according to multiple media reports, issued a statement about Lasseter, who lives in Sonoma and owns a winery, attributing it to Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger: “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 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.”
In his own statement reported in the media, Lasseter, 61, stated, “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 of the opportunities to follow my creative passion at Disney.”
Last November, Lasseter cancelled an appearance at the seventh Sonoma Speakers Series discussion.