Ed Catmull, who co-founded Pixar Animation Studios with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986, announced plans Tuesday to retire.
Catmull will step down as president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios at the end of the year, but he will remain with the company in an advisory role through July 2019, according to Disney. Disney officials noted that the 2019 date will mark 40 years since Catmull was hired by George Lucas to lead the computer division of Lucasfilm.
“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 released by Disney.
Pixar is credited with revolutionizing the animated-film industry, releasing the first feature-length computer-animated film — “Toy Story” — in 1995. The studio’s 20 films have won 15 Oscars and earned more than $13 billion globally.
The Walt Disney Co. acquired Pixar in 2006, although Disney released all of Pixar’s films.
“Ed Catmull’s impact on the entertainment industry is immeasurable,” said Robert Iger, Disney chairman and CEO. “A pioneer of the intersection of creativity and technology, Ed expanded the possibilities for storytellers along with the expectations of audiences.”
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