Just over a week after news that John Lasseter is leaving the company at the end of the year following sexual harassment claims, it was announced today that Peter Docter and Jennifer Lee will be stepping up as chief creative officers at Pixar and Disney Animation.
In a statement reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn indicated that the two "will have creative oversight of all films and associated projects of their respective studios. Docter will head up Pixar while Lee will helm Disney Animation.
"Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are two of the most gifted filmmakers and storytellers I've ever had the pleasure to work with," Horn said in the statement. "Pete, the genius creative force behind Up, Inside Out, and Monsters, Inc., has been an integral part of Pixar almost since the beginning and is a huge part of its industry-leading success. Jenn, in bringing her bold vision to the boundary-breaking Frozen, has helped infuse Disney Animation with a new and exciting perspective. Each of them embodies the unique spirit, culture and values of these renowned animation studios, and I couldn't be more thrilled to have them lead us into the future."
Earlier this month it was announced that Lasseter, who has been on a sabbatical from the company since November, will remain in a consulting role through the end of the year. Last November, Lasseter sent a memo to company employees apologizing for "unwanted hugs". Shortly thereafter, employees began to report more serious situations, including that he often rubbed female employees' legs inappropriately and kissed them on the lips. The statement announcing Lasseter's departure didn't address the reasons or the allegations.
"John had a remarkable tenure at Pixar and Disney Animation, reinventing the animation business, taking breathtaking risks, and telling original, high quality stories that will last forever," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. "We are profoundly grateful for his contributions, which included a masterful and remarkable turnaround of The Walt Disney Animation Studios. One of John's great achievements is assembling a team of great storytellers and innovators with the vision and talent to set the standard in animation for generations to come."
Docter joined Pixar in 1990 as one of its original employees. He was a supervising animator on Toy Story and executive producer on Brave and Monsters University. Lee joined Disney Animation in 2011, first as co-writer of Wreck-It Ralph before going on to write and direct the Oscar-winning Frozen with Chris Buck. Lee is currently in production on Frozen 2.
Pixar's Incredibles 2 is currently in theaters.