One of Catmull’s hobbies is flipping real estate and he has frequently profited from the activity. The extent of his holdings is unknown, but the value of his properties are in the tens of millions of dollars. Property records have shown him to own multiple homes in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, as well as in Hawaii and Salt Lake City, Utah.
In March 2012, Catmull and his wife Susan sold a house in Kailua, Hawaii, for $2.15 million, and a month later, sold a second home in the same neighborhood for $3.5 million. That same year, the couple also sold a Marin county estate for $8.35 million. In 2013, the Catmulls paid $6 million for a classic Edwardian home in San Francisco.
In 2014, Catmull listed a home in Hawaii for $20 million.
In recent years, Catmull has been the subject of intense scrutiny for his role in the illegal animation wage-theft scheme, in which studio heads conspired to artificially keep the wages of animation workers low. The plaintiffs in the wage-theft lawsuit presented substantial evidence that implicated Catmull as a long-time ringleader of the scheme. As a result of Catmull’s actions, Disney, Pixar, and Lucasfilm agreed to a settlement of $100 million dollars in the class action lawsuit.
Catmull has never apologized for his actions, but in court he has argued that limiting the wages of animation workers is a good thing, saying:
Like somehow we’re hurting some employees? We’re not. While I have responsibility for the payroll, I have responsibility for the long term also. I don’t apologize for this. This was bad stuff.
The Disney and Pixar animation president faced a new round of criticism with the John Lasseter scandal when it was revealed in a Vanity Fair report that Catmull was aware of Lasseter physically harassing female Disney and Pixar workers since at least 2010. Despite Catmull’s knowledge of the behavior, he allowed the inappropriate behavior to continue for years until Lasseter was finally forced into a “sabbatical” last November.
Last year, through some behind-the-scenes maneuvering, Catmull ran as a last-minute candidate for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s Board of Governors, but was beaten out by veteran animator Tom Sito.
Catmull’s exact net worth is unknown, but his fortune is estimated to be north of $100 million.