Disney Chief & Pixar Co-Founder Steps Down Amid "Missteps"

John Lasseter will assume a consulting role at Disney until the end of the year.

The driving creative force behind many of Disney and Pixar's most beloved films is stepping down, following revelations about unwanted workplace "missteps".

John Lasseter, who has been on leave since late last year, won't be returning to his position as Walt Disney Animation Studio's chief creative officer, the company said on Friday.

In November, Lasseter, 61, acknowledged that he had made a number of "missteps" with his employees, giving out unwanted hugs that made some staff members feel "disrespected or uncomfortable".

He apologised to "anyone who has ever been on the receiving hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape or form," and announced he would be taking a six month sabbatical.

It also coincided with an article in The Hollywood Reporter during the height of the #MeToo movement, which reported longtime employees speaking out on Lasseter's habit of "grabbing, kissing [and] making comments about physical attributes", particularly when alcohol was involved.

John Lasseter was the creative force behind animations such as 'Frozen', 'Inside Out' and the 'Toy Story' series.

Lasseter, who co-founded animation giant Pixar, is behind some of the most beloved animations of all time, including Toy Story, Inside Out, Frozen and Coco.

He joined Disney in 2006 when the company bought Pixar, and will assume a consulting role until the end of the year.

"The last six months have provided an opportunity to reflect on my life, career and personal priorities," he said in a statement, which did not address the allegations.

"While I remain dedicated to the art of animation and inspired by the creative talent at Pixar and Disney, I have decided the end of this year is the right time to begin focusing on new creative challenges."

A replacement is yet to be announced.