The former chief executive officer of both Pixar and Disney Animation, John Lasseter will be officially exiting his position, instead of returning after a 6-month vocation period as previously planned, by the end of 2018. Lasseter was accused of sexual misconduct with co-workers coming out about his uninvited kisses, touching and amorous displays. Lasseter, who was one of the original founders of Pixar, re-invented Disney Animation and lead both studios on paths of overwhelming success over the past few decades (during his leadership, Pixar earned $6 billion.) So the question of his replacement has been worrying the masses since the report about Lasseter’s departure original came out.
Luckily, the individuals replacing the disgraced executive were practically born for their newly aquired positions. Pete Docter, the 49-year-old writer/director, who previously won 2 Academy Awards for directing Up and Inside Out, will be leading Pixar as the new chief executive officer. Being one of the first employees Pixar ever hired and having contributed to numerous projects released by the studio in varying degrees, Docter has been with Pixar since the beginning and it is highly doubtful his creative success won’t follow him to his new corner office.
Jennifer Lee earned international acclaim for co-writing and co-directing the mega hit Frozen (which earned over $1 billion,) and will now head Disney Animation. Frozen also earned Lee an Oscar, and the 46-year-old director seems determined to take charge of her new responsibilities. “Animation is the most collaborative art form in the world, and it is with the partnership of my fellow filmmakers, artists, and innovators that we look ahead to the future,” Lee said in a statement, published by Deadline. “My hope is to support the incredible talent we have, find new voices, and work together to tell original stories. The great films of Disney Animation – the films I loved as a kid and my daughter has grown up loving – are magical, timeless, and full of heart, and it is our goal to create films that carry on and grow this 95-year legacy for future generations.”
While the shock of Lasseter’s allegations still unsettles many, adding to the on-going conversation about the abuse of leadership positions in Hollywood, the case ended up terminating with positive results, and two worthy individuals will now lead two biggest animation studios in the world toward the path of innovation and newly found success. Or at least we hope so.