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Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

John Lasseter will complete his exit from Pixar, Disney at the end of 2018

John Lasseter, the creative force behind Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation, is officially exiting his post as chief creative officer of both animation studios at the end of this year, the Walt Disney Co. said Friday. Lasseter has faced sexual harassment allegations, confessing to the need for correct and apologizing.

A 2002 photo of animator and director John Lasseter. photo/ Eric Charbonneau

Lasseter, who was the chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation, took a leave of absence late last year following what he described as “missteps” that made some of his colleagues feel “disrespected and uncomfortable.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger described Lasseter’s tenure as “remarkable.”

“We are profoundly grateful for his contributions, which included a masterful and remarkable turnaround of The Walt Disney Animation Studios,” Iger said.

Lasseter was one of the founders of Pixar. He was hired by Pixar head Ed Catmull in 1984, and after Pixar was spun off as its own company, with funding from Steve Jobs in 1986, Lasseter developed and popularized computer-graphic animation with early films like 1995’s ground-breaking Toy Story, which was followed by such features as A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc. 

In 2006, after Disney, which had been distributing Pixar’s movies, purchased the Emeryville, California-based animation studio for $7.4 billion, Lasseter was named chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Female employees said that Lasseter had a reputation for touching women inappropriately in the office, including rubbing their legs and kissing them on the lips. Lasseter was also reprimanded for making out with a subordinate at an Oscar party in 2010.

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