Bob Iger says Apple & Disney would have merged if Steve Jobs was alive

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2021
Former Disney CEO Bog Iger says that he never spoke with Steve Jobs about a potential merger of Apple and Disney, but he believes the deal likely would have "gotten there."

Steve Jobs and Bob Iger
Steve Jobs and Bob Iger


In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Iger noted that Jobs was passionate about "everything that Disney did." He said the late Apple co-founder and CEO always appreciate combining "great technology" with "great creativity."

"The intersection -- one side liberal arts, one side technology," Iger said. "That's what made his heart sing."

Iger continued, adding that Disney's content would have been a natural fit for the way that Apple was changing how it delivers content to users.

"I'm pretty convinced we would have had that discussion," Iger said. "I think we would have gotten there."

This is not the first time that Iger has brought up the potential of an Apple-Disney merger if Jobs had lived. In his 2019 memoir, Iger said that he believed "if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously."

Bob Iger & Steve Jobs

At other points during the Tuesday interview, Iger discussed how he spent months personally getting to know Jobs, who was an investor and co-founder of Pixar Studios.

Although Iger and Jobs originally has a tenuous relationship, the bond between the two became stronger when Disney acquired Pixar. That catapulted Jobs to the role of Disney's largest individual shareholder. In that spot, and a board member of Disney, he informed a number of key decisions.

Jobs reportedly saw Iger as a "true partner," and hand-selected the Disney CEO to succeed him on Apple's board of directors.

Iger left Apple's board in September 2019, citing "conflicting rather than converging" paths. In February 2020, Iger also announced his eventual departure from Disney.

Since stepping down from the CEO role, Iger has helped direct "creative endeavors" at Disney, though his contract with the company ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    At least then the Disney app would be good...
    kingofsomewherehotnarwhalreciprocityviclauyycwatto_cobralkruppcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 44
    cg27cg27 Posts: 214member
    Maybe a merger back in the day, but now Disney would merely be an appetizer.

    Plus, Pixar fare is/was more ‘creative’ than Disney offerings.

    Not sure that Apple would want to be saddled with managing theme parks.

    ravnorodomwilliamlondonbaconstanggeekmeepatchythepirateronnwatto_cobrauraharacornchip
  • Reply 3 of 44
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,263member
    Not sure this would have helped Apple at all. This would have made Apple an entertainment company, subject to all sorts of other rules and restrictions. Steve owned Pixar but it wasn't part of Apple. I'm happy Apple didn't merge with Disney because I don't think Disney really has anything to offer Apple. Apple is a computer company and much more but having Disney dictate what Apple could work on would mean we wouldn't have the M1 or anything close to it. In fact, I don't think the Apple portion would even be around anymore.
    williamlondonpatchythepirategeorgie01watto_cobradewmecornchip
  • Reply 4 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,105member
    I don't believe this.  If anything, Apple would buy Disney's movie/entertainment section and disband the theme parks.  It just doesn't fit Apple's business.  

    And let's clarify one thing, Apple would be the one doing the buying, not Disney.  It would not be a takeover/acquisition and not a "merger".
    williamlondonpatchythepiraterob53georgie01watto_cobraDogperson
  • Reply 5 of 44
    stompystompy Posts: 409member
    "Former Disney CEO Bog Iger says that he never spoke with Steve Jobs about a potential merger of Apple and Disney, but he believes ...."
    The ultimate "if Steve were alive..."  :/
    williamlondonpatchythepirateStrangeDaysradarthekatronngeorgie01watto_cobramknelsonBeatscornchip
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Iger noted that Jobs was passionate about "everything that Disney did."

    "He especially enjoyed 'Song of the South' and 'White Wilderness,'" Iger purported.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 44
    Yeah right. If Steve was still alive, he would have_________ (fill in the blank). 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 44
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,039member
    If it did not happen while Steve still owned Pixar, it would not have happened when Disney bought Pixar, even when Steve was still alive.

    Yeah sure, "sell us Pixar, Steve, now buy us Apple." that makes a lot of sense! /s
    williamlondonpatchythepiratewatto_cobraurahara
  • Reply 9 of 44
    Glad it never happened. Seeing what's available on AppleTV+ makes me shudder to think what would have happened to the entire MCU that Disney was able to build. The MCU is thee cinematic experience that my family has thoroughly enjoyed for over a decade. Something my children and I have grown up to appreciate together since they were born. We were actually saddened at the end of Avengers End Game as we thought it was over. Then the latest Spider-Man came out and we were all beyond hyped to keep it going.

    No Apple product has brought us together like that.
    ravnorodomradarthekaturaharacornchip
  • Reply 10 of 44
    I don't know that Apple would have bought Disney, but Steve Jobs WAS the largest Disney shareholder. I wonder if Steve might have considered taking Apple private and subsuming Disney too. I could see Disney parks switching to all Apple devices and Disney TV shows and movies showing exclusively Apple product. (Well, not the villains.)

    It's fun to imagine what Steve would have done. We would have seen some really out-there devices by now. I doubt HomeKit and the speakers would have floundered like they have -- they would have either been totally re-worked or abandoned. I have a feeling Steve would have liked Apple's health initiatives, maybe gone all in with more medical devices.
    watto_cobraBeats
  • Reply 11 of 44
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,770member
    “If Steve were alive”, he would be Prime Minister of Planet Earth and we would have colonies on Mars already. 

    These “If Steve were alive” ballads are really starting to wear thin, imo. The guy is gone, and that really sucks for all of us. I often wonder what he would be like today, approaching his 70s. Would he be the wise old sage that everyone turned to for advice and insight the way they do with Bill Gates? Maybe he would have worn out his welcome and burned too many bridges, or possibly he would have evolved to be awkward and uncomfortable, like Woz has. Or, maybe he would have simply retired to a life of anonymity, never to be heard from again. Anyone who knows anything at all about Jobs knows that any of these possibilities could have played out. We just don’t know, and in the end, it just becomes speculative nonsense to even pretend. People really don’t do this with anyone else, this assigning of posthumous fictional intention and success, and I really wish they would stop appropriating the memory of Jobs to do it to him. Can we all just respect and celebrate the guy for who he was, and not for what he “might have” done? Ugh. 
    muthuk_vanalingamgeekmeeronnwatto_cobrauraharacornchip
  • Reply 12 of 44
    Ahhh...Disney.  The kiss of death.
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 13 of 44
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,770member
    sflocal said:
    I don't believe this.  If anything, Apple would buy Disney's movie/entertainment section and disband the theme parks.  It just doesn't fit Apple's business.  

    And let's clarify one thing, Apple would be the one doing the buying, not Disney.  It would not be a takeover/acquisition and not a "merger".
    I’m curious as to when, in the common history of both companies, you think it would have even remotely possible for this to happen?  Obviously, post-iPhone for Apple. Obviously, pre-Marvel for Disney. That’s a pretty tight window there…2007-2009. And, if Jobs has survived longer than 2011, Disney would have been near the end of Phase One of the MCU, a success so lucrative that it made Disney nearly impossible for any company to acquire, much less one that is famous for the death grip they have on their wallet. A merger? Maybe, but probably not. An acquisition or takeover though? I’m not seeing it. 
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamronn
  • Reply 14 of 44
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    A merger just like the one Jesus and Santa Claus made. 
    ronnbaconstangkingofsomewherehotcornchip
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Nice opinion… I got mine too. Nope.
    Just because he said it, doesn’t make it true.

    ‘Yuh, YUH… Dat’s da tickut!’
    edited December 2021 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 44
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,919member
    What Bob Iger saying would have happened and Apple's AppleTV+ contents would be way better than Nextflix and rest.
    Beats
  • Reply 17 of 44
    That would have been great for both companies.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    ‘What we have here is a failure to…’
    succeed by association.
    cornchip
  • Reply 19 of 44
    XedXed Posts: 2,677member
    rob53 said:
    Not sure this would have helped Apple at all. This would have made Apple an entertainment company, subject to all sorts of other rules and restrictions. Steve owned Pixar but it wasn't part of Apple. I'm happy Apple didn't merge with Disney because I don't think Disney really has anything to offer Apple. Apple is a computer company and much more but having Disney dictate what Apple could work on would mean we wouldn't have the M1 or anything close to it. In fact, I don't think the Apple portion would even be around anymore.
    They wouldn't be one and same, just as Apple+ content creation is now "subject to all sorts of other rules and restrictions" while Apple still designs their own silicon. I certainly say what Steve Jobs would've done a decade later (he probably couldn't either), but him selling Pixar to Disney and being on the board certainly looks to me like he was moving Apple in a direction to acquire Disney.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobraBeats
  • Reply 20 of 44
    If it would have kept Chapek from becoming CEO, I would be all for it. :)
    watto_cobracornchip
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