Kim Masters at The Hollywood Reporter writes about John Lasseter's future job opportunities:
On Thursday, the staff of Disney Animation Studios will gather on the lot for what the company is calling a "Day of Listening," with a handful of human-resources professionals present to facilitate a discussion of workplace concerns. The gathering, which Disney veterans say is unprecedented for the Burbank-based animation unit, comes as sources with ties to both Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios speculate that John Lasseter, who oversees both companies but has been on leave since November, will not return from what was characterized by Disney as a six-month "sabbatical." At the time, Lasseter, 61, acknowledged "painful" conversations and unspecified "missteps" in a memo to staff.
Disney declined to comment, but an insider described the "Day of Listening" as part of a frequent effort to engage with employees. ...
Ms. Masters says various "insiders" think John won't be back, but I continue to find that difficult to believe.
Mr. Lasseter was one of the reasons the conglomerate bought Pixar for seven-plus billion in the first place, and despite a proclivity for partying robustly, J.L. has made the company a poop-load of money. So I continue to think the Mouse will find some way to keep John on board.
On the other hand, I've been decisively wrong before. Maybe the internal and external politics are just not there for Mr. Lasseter to remain at the Walt Disney Company, and he'll be spending more time with his family and grape vineyard.