Ed Catmull, President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, Announces Retirement

Pixar co-founder and current Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios President, Ed Catmull, has announced his retirement from The Walt Disney Company next year.

  • Catmull will step down from his role at the company at the end of this year.
  • However, he will stay on in an advisory role through July 2019.
  • Pixar President Jim Morris and Walt Disney Animation Studios President Andrew Millstein will continue to oversee operations of their respective studios, reporting to Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman.
  • Meanwhile, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios will continue to be creatively led by Chief Creative Officers Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee, respectively, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.
  • Catmull was hired by George Lucas in 1979 to lead Lucasfilm’s computer division, before co-founding Pixar Animation Studios in 1986 with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter.
  • He became President of both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studio when the latter was acquired by Disney in 2006.
  • Dr. Catmull is also the author of the book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.
Ed Catmull

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

What they’re saying:

  • Dr. Ed Catmull: “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. From the request of George Lucas to bring technology to the film industry, to the vision of Steve Jobs, and the extraordinary freedom provided by Bob Iger, Alan Horn, and Alan Bergman, we continue to dream of stories and ways of making those stories that always surprise. I have the mixed emotions that come with stepping away from a group of people I love, but also with the utmost pride and pleasure that we now have at both Pixar and Disney Animation the most dedicated and imaginative leaders I have worked with.”
  • Bob Iger, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO: “Ed Catmull’s impact on the entertainment industry is immeasurable. A pioneer of the intersection of creativity and technology, Ed expanded the possibilities for storytellers along with the expectations of audiences. We’re profoundly grateful for his innumerable contributions, ranging from his pivotal, groundbreaking work at Lucasfilm and Pixar to the exceptional leadership he brought to Pixar and Walt Disney Animation over the last 12 years, and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

  • Alan Horn, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios: “Ed is a one-of-a-kind talent, a genius who sees beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary. His unique perspective and invaluable leadership have fostered the creation of films and technologies that will stand the test of time.”