Ed Catmull, who co-founded Pixar along with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter and in doing so revolutionized the animation industry, is retiring after a ground-breaking five-decade career, during which he has been involved with dozens of hit films from Toy Story to Frozen to this year’s Incredibles 2.
Catmull, who acts as president of both Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, will step down from his current roles at the end of this year, according to a Disney announcement on Tuesday, and then stay on as an adviser through July 2019 before formally retiring.
“Never in my wildest imagination could I have conceived of the path or the extraordinary people I have worked with over all of these years — the twists and turns, the ups and downs, along with exhilarating passion, talent, and dedication that have led to something extraordinary, something that has an enduring impact in the world,” Catmull, 73, said in a statement.
Catmull, who earned a doctorate in computer technology from the University of Utah, was hired by George Lucas in 1979 to lead Lucasfilm’s computer division before then going on to co-found Pixar with Jobs and Lasseter in 1986. In 1995, Pixar released Toy Story, the first computer-animated hit, the first of 20 Pixar features, which have collectively won 15 Academy Awards and earned more than $13 million at the worldwide box office.
When Disney, which had been releasing Pixar films, acquired the studio for $7.4 billion in 2006, Catmull was named president of both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, overseeing the business side of the operations, while Lasseter oversaw the films as chief creative officer until he stepped down this summer following complaints about his workplace behavior.
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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Borys Kit