Issue: Week of April 25, 2003


PORTLAND - Noted founder of the 27-year-old Portland animation house Will Vinton Studios, Will Vinton has been laid off from the company.

On Monday April 14, Vinton resigned from the board of directors and Friday he was laid off, according to an email he wrote to his former co-workers.

Vinton officials stated that the decision was part of a larger restructuring of the company and hinted towards a feature film deal signed this week with a major studio, though they declined to name the studio or particulars of the deal. While rumors have circulated about the company withdrawing from the advertising market, officials reiterated the company's commitment to its commercial operations.

The firing of Vinton, along with four other employees, comes less than six months after Nike Inc. co-founder Phil Knight became a majority shareholder and board member. Knight has owned a minority share of the studio since 1998.