Disney CEO Bob Iger recalls close working relationship with Steve Jobs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2014
Late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs found a "true partner" in Bob Iger, according to a new profile of the Disney chief executive, with Jobs going so far as to hand-pick Iger to succeed him on Apple's board of directors.

Jobs and Iger in 2007
Jobs and Iger in 2007


After Iger personally reached out to mend the then-strained relationship between Disney and Pixar in 2005, "Steve recognized that in Bob he actually had a partner," Pixar's Ed Catmull recounted to Fortune. "In the subsequent years they thought of each other as true partners. That's what he wanted, and that's not what he had previously."

Within days of Iger's ascension to the top job at Disney --?and after less than one week of negotiating --?he agreed to distribute ABC programming on the iTunes store, announcing the move alongside Jobs at the unveiling of Apple's video iPod in 2005. That pact, Iger recalled, came at a significant but worthwhile cost.

"We got backlash from everybody--from affiliates, retailers, and the guilds," he said. "But it changed my relationship with him [Jobs] bigtime. And it led to a much better dialogue on Pixar." Disney ultimately acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006.

Iger also recalled a number of conversations with Jobs in which the two discussed much broader themes.

"Occasionally we would stand in front of a whiteboard and talk about ideas," Iger told the publication. "We'd just muse on business. When you think about it, media's the intersection of content and technology--it's all about storytelling, like photography and the camera. So we'd talk about that a lot, the intersection between the story and the gadget."

Jobs, of course, famously positioned Apple as a company at "the intersection of liberal arts and technology." Both companies continue to work closely together, and Jobs's replacement, Tim Cook, also sung Iger's praises.

"He has the courage to lose sight of the shore," Cook said. "He understands the tradition of Disney but isn't wedded to it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Iger is running Disney into the ground (not all things are financial), not who I would want to be associated with. Steve had morals. Iger does not.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    "He has the courage to lose sight of the shore," Cook said.

    Great line.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    Disney, Lets get going on Incredibles 2 already.

  • Reply 4 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Iger is running Disney into the ground (not all things are financial), not who I would want to be associated with. Steve had morals. Iger does not.



    Are you just trolling or have some actual insight into this?

  • Reply 5 of 22
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,825member
    Iger is running Disney into the ground (not all things are financial), not who I would want to be associated with. Steve had morals. Iger does not.
    What is that judgement based on?
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post





    What is that judgement based on?

     

    Ignorance.

  • Reply 7 of 22
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    dimmok wrote: »
    Disney, Lets get going on Incredibles 2 already.

    Did Marvel ever sue them for such a blatant ripoff of the Fantastic Four?

    Back to thread. Iger certainly is better than Eisner ever was.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    Did Marvel ever sue them for such a blatant ripoff of the Fantastic Four?



    Back to thread. Iger certainly is better than Eisner ever was.

     

    Doesn't Disney own Marvel?

  • Reply 9 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

     

    Doesn't Disney own Marvel?


     

    Yes. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Disney#Marvel_Entertainment

  • Reply 10 of 22
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,825member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Did Marvel ever sue them for such a blatant ripoff of the Fantastic Four?.
    Didn't use any trademarks, had an original story, and could reasonably be described as a parody, so no way would that fly. There weren't even any children in the Fantastic Four, were there?
  • Reply 11 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,062member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Iger is running Disney into the ground (not all things are financial), not who I would want to be associated with. Steve had morals. Iger does not.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post





    What is that judgement based on?



    Nothing. His type just spout anything that comes to mind in order to appear knowledgable... and get a negative reaction of course. That’s always the goal. 

  • Reply 12 of 22
    Iger is running Disney into the ground (not all things are financial), not who I would want to be associated with. Steve had morals. Iger does not.
    Not sure of Igers involvment or not but . . . I have a dog in this fight also.

    Backstory: my young daughters have Guinea Pigs as pets, I wanted to find a nice book/dvd, animation or story about Guinea pigs that they would enjoy.

    A bit of internet work later I found that Disney had made an animation with Guinea pigs as main characters (G-FORCE), great I thought . . .

    But in Disneys brave new world for children, Guinea pigs carry guns, drive fast cars, talk like wisecracking streetwise hoodlums and hang around with 'sexy' bling laden female Guinea pigs.
    They also work as spies for the FBI and have access to high tech weaponry etc etc

    This disgusting shit is made for - and marketed as for children by Disney.

    If Westinghouse or Tesla want to find a powerful new form of energy , they should try Walt Disney's Grave.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    amoradala wrote: »
    Not sure of Igers involvment or not but . . . I have a dog in this fight also.

    Backstory: my young daughters have Guinea Pigs as pets, I wanted to find a nice book/dvd, animation or story about Guinea pigs that they would enjoy.

    A bit of internet work later I found that Disney had made an animation with Guinea pigs as main characters (G-FORCE), great I thought . . .

    But in Disneys brave new world for children, Guinea pigs carry guns, drive fast cars, talk like wisecracking streetwise hoodlums and hang around with 'sexy' bling laden female Guinea pigs.
    They also work as spies for the FBI and have access to high tech weaponry etc etc

    This disgusting shit is made for - and marketed as for children by Disney.

    If Westinghouse or Tesla want to find a powerful new form of energy , they should try Walt Disney's Grave.

    Sadly, this trend seems to be increasing.

    Hopefully someone with some pull sees how this seemingly innocuous stuff impacts their own children and fights for change.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Iger is running Disney into the ground (not all things are financial), not who I would want to be associated with. Steve had morals. Iger does not.

    He seems to have a good approval rating:

    http://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Walt-Disney-Company-Reviews-E717.htm

    He was going to retire from Disney in 2016 but extended his contract to 2018:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/peterlauria/why-bob-iger-may-not-leave-disney-in-2016

    I like his wife's name, Willow Bay:

    1000

    She could be a Bond girl with a name like that.

    Iger has been CEO since 2005. Eisner before him was CEO since 1984 and he became a billionaire over this time, probably just from his salary (e.g $50m for 21 years). There were bad things said about Eisner:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2000/books/news/04/03/eisner/index.html

    "Kim Masters (unauthorised biographer) also examines Eisner's lack of relationships in a town built on relationships.

    "He used to tell staff who worked with him at Paramount, 'Never have a friend in this town,' and he's kind of lived by that," she says. "If you asked people who have been in this community for years to name his friends, I think most of them would be hard pressed to come up with two."

    While other entertainment executives take pains to cultivate loyalty among the people they work with, Masters says, "Eisner is not about loyalty. His relationships almost invariably seem to end up in some kind of blowup."

    At one point Masters quotes a memo Eisner sent out when he worked at Paramount. "We have no obligation to make history," it says. "We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money, is our only objective."

    Bob Iger is painted as being a very different character:

    http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-02-04/how-bob-iger-unchained-disney

    Steve Jobs didn't like Eisner:

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/disney-ceo-went-to-steve-jobs-to-find-out-if-disney-films-sucked/
    http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief1/b/jim_hill/archive/2012/02/05/steve-jobs-bio-reveals-how-michael-eisner-actively-tried-to-derail-disney-s-acquisition-of-pixar.aspx

    "Jobs was apparently insulted that Eisner merely considered Pixar a "hired hand," while Jobs considered the studio a "creativity engine." Tired of Eisner's attitude, Jobs left the negotiating table, determined to find another distributor that appreciated what Pixar had to offer.

    But Jobs had also hinted that he might be willing to make a deal with Disney if Eisner, who had been creating conflicts with Disney board members and other executives, was shown the door."

    It was with Iger that the Disney/Pixar deal happened. Steve Jobs made most of his personal wealth from that and it probably helped secure Pixar's future. Pixar looks like they are focusing on sequels quite a lot now:

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/mar/19/disney-pixar-the-incredibles-cars-sequels
    http://www.pixar.com/about/Upcoming
    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/toy-story-the-incredibles-cars-pixar-future-sequel-plans-1201350707/

    Toy Story 4 shouldn't really be possible considering what happened in 3 but maybe it's adventures with the new owners. It makes too much money to pass it up I suppose.

    Pixar tries too hard to come up with franchises based on anthropomorphising well-known animals or objects and pick identifiable themes, which is inherently limited. Non-animated films don't do that very much, they focus on stories and human characters.

    Now that Disney owns Star Wars and Indiana Jones, perhaps Pixar can make stories with those themes as those universes are more expandable without being considered sequels. They can use a less cartoon style like this:


    [VIDEO]


    [VIDEO]


    [VIDEO]


    That's the thing with human stories is that nobody would ever say it's like another movie solely on the basis of there being humans in it. If Pixar made another movie with toys, superheroes, fish, rats, cars, robots and so on, they will seem like treading old ground. They did 'Up' with normal humans and maybe Incredibles to an extent but Disney Animation seems to do a better job using human characters. Frozen did really well. The following is from Disney Animation:


    [VIDEO]


    Lasseter covers both studios:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/pixar-disney-animation-john-lasseters-661752

    "three of the studio's next four releases will be originals. Docter is readying Inside Out, set in the mind of a preteen, for June 2015. A retooled Dinosaur will follow that November, then an untitled movie about the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead."

    It's probably harder to merchandise more realistic looking human characters to kids so they're probably limited to cartoon ones from that aspect.

    Maybe one day both studios will merge to just be Disney Pixar Animation. The competition between them might help but I can see Pixar moving more towards Disney Animation themes over time to avoid getting into a trap of sequels of limited story-telling environments so there will be less to distinguish between them.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,519member
    The Incredibles might have paid a bit of homage to the FF by making Elasti-girl (Reed Richards) and the invisible kid with the force field (Sue Richards), but that's pretty much where the resemblance ends. Pardon the pun, but Pazuzu is really stretching it to make that into "a rip off of the Fantastic Four."

    It's worth noting that Marvel was not owned by Disney at that time, so they were entirely free to sue Disney if *they* had thought they were being ripped off. Funny how they didn't, nor was their ever even the slightest hint that they might.

    I guess he thinks any idea that is remotely similar to another idea is a "rip off" of whatever of those idea he thinks came first. For example, the whole concept of a four-person team of heroes is *clearly* ripped off from The Three Musketeers, so I guess Marvel should thank its lucky stars that Alexandre Dumas was dead by the time they stole his idea ... indeed, wasn't the original Avengers made up of four heroes (Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man and the Hulk)? My gosh ... Marvel ripped off Marvel when they created the Avengers just two years after the FF!! It's an outrage!! Have they no shame?? lol
  • Reply 16 of 22
    People get it. I'm talking about the complete lack of morals in their products. Watched the Disney Channel lately? How about ABC Family? It's a wave of bilge.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    chasm wrote: »
    The Incredibles might have paid a bit of homage to the FF by making Elasti-girl (Reed Richards) and the invisible kid with the force field (Sue Richards), but that's pretty much where the resemblance ends. Pardon the pun, but Pazuzu is really stretching it to make that into "a rip off of the Fantastic Four."

    It's worth noting that Marvel was not owned by Disney at that time, so they were entirely free to sue Disney if *they* had thought they were being ripped off. Funny how they didn't, nor was their ever even the slightest hint that they might.

    I guess he thinks any idea that is remotely similar to another idea is a "rip off" of whatever of those idea he thinks came first. For example, the whole concept of a four-person team of heroes is *clearly* ripped off from The Three Musketeers, so I guess Marvel should thank its lucky stars that Alexandre Dumas was dead by the time they stole his idea ... indeed, wasn't the original Avengers made up of four heroes (Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man and the Hulk)? My gosh ... Marvel ripped off Marvel when they created the Avengers just two years after the FF!! It's an outrage!! Have they no shame?? lol

    It's a stolen concept plain and simple. And not the author copying himself which is completely diff.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    People get it. I'm talking about the complete lack of morals in their products. Watched the Disney Channel lately? How about ABC Family? It's a wave of bilge.

    I wouldn't expect anything different from Iger. ESPN sucks too.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,612member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by amoradala View Post





    Not sure of Igers involvment or not but . . . I have a dog in this fight also.



    Backstory: my young daughters have Guinea Pigs as pets, I wanted to find a nice book/dvd, animation or story about Guinea pigs that they would enjoy.



    A bit of internet work later I found that Disney had made an animation with Guinea pigs as main characters (G-FORCE), great I thought . . .



    But in Disneys brave new world for children, Guinea pigs carry guns, drive fast cars, talk like wisecracking streetwise hoodlums and hang around with 'sexy' bling laden female Guinea pigs.

    They also work as spies for the FBI and have access to high tech weaponry etc etc



    This disgusting shit is made for - and marketed as for children by Disney.



    If Westinghouse or Tesla want to find a powerful new form of energy , they should try Walt Disney's Grave.



    For a moment, I though you were describing the hamsters in the Scion commercial... :)



  • Reply 20 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    People get it. I'm talking about the complete lack of morals in their products. Watched the Disney Channel lately? How about ABC Family? It's a wave of bilge.

     

    I watched Frozen... less violent and more entertaining than Snow White.

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