Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull To Retire After Nearly 40 Years In Animation

After decades at the helm of Pixar, co-founder Ed Catmull is retiring. The 73-year-old co-founded Pixar in 1986 alongside Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, and helped shepherd the cutting-edge computer animation studio into becoming the global animation giant it is today.

Ed Catmull retires from his role as the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios after 32 years at the helm of Pixar and nearly 40 years in the animation technology industry, Variety reports. In summer 2019, Catmull will transition to an advisory role while Jim Morris steps into the role of Pixar president an Andrew Millstein takes over as Walt Disney Animation Studios president.

Catmull began his career ascent when he was hired by George Lucas in 1979 to lead the computer division at Lucasfilm. He went on to co-found Pixar in 1986 and played a pivotal part in the release of Pixar's groundbreaking first feature film, Toy Story, in 1995.

He continued to play an active part in bringing to life beloved Disney and Pixar titles which grossed billions of dollars and broke box office records, including Disney's Frozen and Zootopia, and Pixar's Incredibles 2, Toy Story 3, and Finding Dory.

Catmull said in a statement (via Variety):

"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."

Disney CEO Bob Iger called Catmull a "pioneer of the intersection of creativity and technology, Ed expanded the possibilities for storytellers along with the expectations of audiences."

In their new roles, both Morris and Millstein will report to Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman. Meanwhile, each studio's chief creative officers, Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee, respectively, will continue to report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.