Ed Catmull, Pixar’s co-founder and president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, has announced that he plans to retire next year. He will step down from his current role at the end of 2018, but stay on in an advisory capacity through to July 2019.
Catmull has spent more than five decades in the industry with stints at Lucasfilm, Pixar and Disney. He was hired by George Lucas in 1979 to lead Lucasfilm’s computer division, and then left to set up Pixar Animation Studios in 1986. During his career, he has overseen numerous films, from Toy Story in 1995 to Pixar’s most recent release Incredibles 2.
In the wake of Catmull’s retirement, Pixar president Jim Moss and Walt Disney Animation Studios president Andrew Millstein will oversee the operation of their respective studios, reporting in to Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman.
Both studios will continue to be led creatively by Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee, who were moved into chief creative officer roles after longtime Pixar chief John Lasseter stepped down in June due to misconduct allegations. Lasseter took a six-month sabbatical last November, citing unspecified “missteps”. He then segued into a consulting role at the company that will end on December 31.