John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer and the head of Walt Disney Animation Studios, will leave the company at the end of the year, the Walt Disney Company announced.
Disney’s decision to slowly phase Lasseter out of the company comes at the end of the longtime exec’s sabbatical. Last November, Lasseter took a six-month leave of absence to address his professional behavior, amid several reports of misconduct allegations from female employees.
Lasseter will assume a “consulting role” at Pixar and Disney until Dec. 31, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Frozen director Jennifer Lee and Inside Out’s Pete Docter will take on larger roles ahead of Lasseter’s departure, however.
The Toy Story and Cars director has been a public fixture of the Walt Disney Company over the past two decades. Lasseter, who co-founded Pixar, played a key role in the growth of not only the premier computer animation company, but also in revitalizing Walt Disney’s own in-house animation studio. He took charge of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006, following Disney’s purchase of Pixar.
Pixar’s newest film is The Incredibles 2, which hit theaters June 15.
Update: Disney has officially named Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter as Lasseter’s replacements, said The Hollywood Reporter. They’ll serve as co-chief creative officers of Walt Disney Animation. Disney hasn’t announced when the pair will assume their roles, although Lasseter remains in his position through the end of the year.