John Lasseter Is Latest Disney Castoff to Land New Job

(Bloomberg) -- Skydance Media hired Pixar pioneer John Lasseter to lead its animation business, scooping up the former Walt Disney Co. executive who was let go for workplace misconduct.

The company, led by the son of Oracle Corp. billionaire Larry Ellison, said Wednesday it conducted a thorough vetting of Lasseter, 61, including events surrounding his dismissal for incidents such as inappropriate touching. Skydance concluded that the executive has “taken ownership of his behavior” and is ready to resume his role as a leader.

“Let me be clear: We have not entered into this decision lightly,” Chief Executive Officer David Ellison said in a letter to employees. The company’s senior leaders plan to meet with staff to discuss the decision.

Lasseter’s appointment shows some in Hollywood are evaluating whether executives implicated in the #MeToo scandal deserve another chance. Warner Bros. hired James Gunn, who was fired by Disney for years-old offensive tweets, to work on a movie, according to published reports.

Time’s Up, a group fighting for women’s safety, dignity and equality in the workplace, criticized Skydance for its decision, saying it “perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence.”

The group said, “At a moment when we should be uplifting the many talented voices who are consistently underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.”

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