May 1, 2006
Source: The Mercury News
Written By May Wong – Associated Press
CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple Computer Inc. chief executive 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.
Disney’s upcoming, $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar will land Jobs a seat on the Disney board and make him the company’s largest shareholder.
The pending union has generated speculation about whether Jobs would want ever want to lead Disney given his growing influence in digital media with Pixar’s blockbuster movie successes and Apple’s iconic iPod media player and iTunes Music Store franchises.
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.”