Jobs Not Interested in Joining Walt Disney - AP, 4/27/06
Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said Thursday he had no interest in becoming an executive at The Walt Disney Co., which will soon complete its acquisition of Jobs' other company, Pixar Animation Studios Inc.
In fact, Jobs told shareholders he plans to spend more time at Apple after he relinquishes his chief executive job at Pixar when the studio's merger with Disney closes in two weeks.
A shareholder at the annual meeting at Apple's headquarters asked Jobs if he had any interest in becoming the Michael Eisner of Disney, referring to the company's former longtime CEO, and Jobs quipped he did not want to be Eisner.
A feud between the two executives nearly threatened the profitable relationship between Pixar and Disney before Jobs hammered out the Disney-Pixar acquisition deal in January with Eisner's replacement, Robert Iger.
Taking a more serious tone, Job said of the merger: "It's not because I want to be a senior manager at Disney. I don't want to do that." Jobs added that he thought Iger "is the best person to run Disney."
Jobs said he understood concerns that he would soon be spending more time at Disney, but "that couldn't be further from the truth," he said. "It'll require less of my time than Pixar did."
While Jobs publicly dismissed any notion of becoming a Disney executive, it remains unclear whether he could become Disney's chairman. Current Chairman George Mitchell is likely to retire next year when his term expires.
In January, Jobs said he does not see himself becoming Disney's chairman, although he did not explicitly rule it out.
"I think there are people that can do a better job at that than me," Jobs told The Associated Press on the day the Disney-Pixar acquisition was announced. "My interest is really just being on the board and helping Bob make this combination super successful and helping him in any other way he asks me to."
Re: Jobs Not Interested in Joining Walt Disney - AP, 4/27/06
This sounds like good news, as far as I'm concerned. John Lasetter is the one responsible for Pixar's creative success, no? I read somewhere that Jobs initially wanted to steer Pixar into being a hardware/software development company, rather than an animation studio.
One of the things the Walt Disney Company has been needing so desperately is for the right people to be in the right places, doing what they're good at. Somebody like Jobs needs to be on the board to tell which way the wind is blowing in the corporate world, but somebody like Lasseter needs to be the creative catalyst in the studios and WDI, and if Iger will let people flourish where they're best suited he's a great CEO, IMO.