So far, nobody can shed more light about what these missteps are and the effects they produced, since the Disney management nor the employees spoke about what happened, however, it is clear that something big happened to make such a huge piece of the company step down.
A Consulting Role until the 31st of December
It seems that Lasseter and Disney reached an agreement so that he can keep a consulting position until the end of the year. Some voices in the industry believe that this is more a request from Disney and Pixar rather than John’s decision as it should give them more time to find a suitable replacement. It is also expected that animators Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter will receive added responsibilities and together to replace the work that Lasseter did inside the company. The two animators are best known for their decisive contribution in creations such as Frozen and Inside Out.
Disney’s Chairman, Bob Iger, wanted to make it very clear that Lasseter had a remarkable contribution to both Pixar and Disney through the years, reinventing the entire business at times by taking exceptional risks and composing high-quality stories with original content and approach. He also added that John was at the base of what he considers a remarkable turnaround and reinvention of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as assembling a team of creative story-tellers and animators that set a new standard in the animation industry for generations.
Not Such A Big Shock After His Month-Long Sabbatical
The decision of Lasseter stepping down from leading Pixar and Disney animation departments comes after a long-lasting sabbatical he announced in November, 2017. He then said he identified problematic behaviour and that he will take a six-month leave of absence to reflect on things, recharge and come back with the perspective and insight needed to be a proper leader. This decision came after the #MeToo movement helped reveal that some of the employees at Disney were put in an uncomfortable position due to the nature of John’s behaviour. He even released a memo letting employees know that even though his intentions were benign and he considered that, through his behaviour, he is maintaining a productive and friendly work environment, everyone should be able to set their own boundaries that should be respected.
An End of an Era
Lasseter’s career within Walt Disney started back in 1979 when he joined the Graphics Group at Lucasfilm and everything that happened afterwards seems similar to a game of casino online pokies. He quickly established himself as a leading figure in the graphics and animation department thanks to his skills and vision and was one of the founders of Pixar. John was hired at Pixar and right after the company became a stand-alone entity, he developed and popularised graphic-animation with stunning titles such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc.
Then, in 2006 when Disney finally decided to buy Pixar for 7.4 billion USD, Lasseter became the CCO of both Walt Disney and Pixar and quickly became the symbol for all Disney-powered animations, including huge successes such as Frozen and Moana. Despite all of his achievements, ironically, John Lasseter puts an end to a remarkable career, perhaps, for not being able to adapt with cultural changes.