Lasseter was the creative force behind movie hits like “Toy Story,” “Frozen,” and “Finding Nemo,” that won Academy Awards and reaped billions of dollars at the box office.
According to Reuters, Friday’s decision, announced in a Disney statement, followed a six month leave of absence by Lasseter after what he called “missteps,” including unwanted hugs that made employees uncomfortable.
“Following his sabbatical, John Lasseter will assume a consulting role at The Walt Disney Company until December 31, 2018, at which time he will be leaving the company,” Disney said.
Disney did not announce a replacement but Chief Executive Bob Iger noted in the statement that Lasseter had assembled “a team of great storytellers and innovators with the vision and talent to set the standard in animation for generations to come.”
Lasseter, 61, said in the statement that “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,” he added.
Lasseter joined the company in 2006 when Disney bought Pixar Animation Studios.