Skydance Animation Chief John Lasseter Promotes Holly Edwards to President

The hire was orchestrated by both Lasseter and David Ellison, head of Skydance Media.

Newly installed Skydance Animation chief John Lasseter has promoted Holly Edwards to president of the division, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

She replaces Bill Damaschke, who left upon Lasseter's arrival last month.

Edwards previously served as president of production at Skydance Animation before doing stints at DreamWorks Animation. She will serve as Lasseter's top lieutenant.

Edwards' promotion was orchestrated by Lasseter and Skydance Media chief David Ellison. Lasseter announced the news during a staff gathering in the kitchen at Skydance, according to insiders.

The company had no official comment.

Lasseter's hire at Skydance prompted widespread criticism from female animators and groups such as Time's Up. Ellison's bombshell announcement came more than a year after Lasseter took a leave of absence from Disney in November 2017, following an admission that he committed unspecified "missteps" that left some employees feeling "disrespected or uncomfortable." The Pixar co-founder and head of Disney's animation efforts never returned to the studio, which said in June that he would retire at the end of 2018.