With longtime Pixar chief John Lasseter set to depart Disney at the end of 2018 following misconduct allegations, Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter have been appointed by Disney as the new chief creative officers of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, respectively.
In their new roles, the Frozen and Inside Out filmmakers will report directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, and be tasked with overseeing creative on their respective studios’ films and associated projects.
Since joining Disney Animation Studios in 2011 as co-writer of the Oscar-nominated feature Wreck-It Ralph, Lee would go on to co-direct and write Disney’s Academy Award-winning mega-hit Frozen and play an instrumental role in the writing of 2016 Oscar-winner Zootopia. Lee also helped adapt Frozen into a Broadway musical and is currently working on the film’s sequel for release in 2019. Other recent credits include executive producer on Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, due in theaters this November.
Docter, meanwhile, was one of Pixar’s first-ever employees, joining the studio in 1990 and contributing to numerous Pixar hits over the years as an original member of the company’s core creative group, known as the Brain Trust. His credits include supervising animator on Toy Story, executive producer on Brave and Monsters University, as well as writing and directing Up and Inside Out, which each garnered an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
In terms of the promotions affecting other executive positions, Jim Morris and Andrew Millstein—the respective presidents of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios—will continue to report to Disney and Pixar president Ed Catmull, who reports to Horn.
Lasseter took a six-month sabbatical last November, citing unspecified “missteps.” Earlier this month, Disney and Lasseter issued statements announcing his leave at the end of the year. He will reportedly have a consulting role with the company until December 31.