Everyone is panicking about several recent events that have happened in the past few days...
From Bob Peterson being removed from "The Good Dinosaur", which actually occurred a while ago, to the recent news about John Kahrs' departure from WDAS. Some are frightened the wheel are coming off. The halo around John Lasseter has swollen his ego. The Disney Suits are squashing the freedom and creativity that putting John and Ed in charge of animation was intended to foster. Is this true? Is the end nigh?
Far from it. In fact, moral at the Hat Building is very high. The lay offs and rehires that used to go on rarely happen and the work flow is running smoother than it has in a decade. The success of films like "Tangled" and "Wreck-It Ralph" have created a confidence that was missing for years. The feeling that their younger sibling was was getting all the credit is no longer something you might hear in th cubicles around the departments.
And speaking of the younger sibling, Pixar is not crumbling because of micomanaging involvement. The biggest concern for the Lamp, as well as the Hat, is story. It has to work no matter how much you like the guy directing it. If it's not working out, you have to find someone that can make it work. There are hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Not to mention diminishing time. John Lasseter goes with how he sees a project is progressing. If it's not, after numerous attempts, something has to be done. If the project can be saved, you have to bring in people to do it. If the project can't be saved, then it will be canned or allowed to whither on the vine (see the article below this for proof).
So what about John Kahrs leaving Disney Animation?
It comes down to one word. Slots. With all the success that the studios are having, there are really only so many projects available. And with all these talented people there comes a time when you have to move on and expand your wings. And when you won an Oscar for Best Short there are going to be opportunities opening up for you. There are only so many project at each company that need directors. But there are other companies/opportunities out there.
John is simply one of those spreading his wings...