JOBS' NEXT ROLE: Whatever part he chooses, he's unlikely to cast himself as silent partner
SF Chronicle - 1/25/05


JOBS' NEXT ROLE: Whatever part he chooses, he's unlikely to cast himself as silent partner

In the wake of Disney's blockbuster acquisition of Pixar, Steve Jobs brings his quest for perfection to an even grander stage.

He is the largest individual shareholder in the storied Walt Disney Co. And he remains the head of Apple Computer, the revolutionary computing company he founded and later reinvented as a digital music powerhouse. Not bad for a man who was considered washed up 20 years ago and was battling cancer a mere 18 months ago.

As always with the mercurial and enigmatic Jobs, the question is: What's next?

Does he take an active role in Disney, bringing his Silicon Valley sensibility to an iconic Hollywood studio struggling to find its way in the digital world? Does he use his new clout at Disney to boost his true passion, Apple Computer, by funneling movies and television shows to the video iPod? Or does he just sit back and stay quiet, declaring victory after reaping an enormous profit from his original $10 million investment in Pixar?

Those who have followed Jobs' rise, fall and comeback at Apple don't know for sure, but the last option -- keeping his mouth shut -- hardly seems likely given his track record.
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