Bob Iger: If Steve Jobs Were Alive, We Would Likely Have Combined Apple and Disney

Disney CEO and former Apple board member Bob Iger has a new book coming out later this month, and ahead of its release, Vanity Fair has shared some key excerpts about Steve Jobs, who was Iger's close friend.

When Iger first took over as CEO of Disney, the relationship between the two companies was strained due to Jobs' disagreements with Michael Eisner and the end of a deal that had seen Disney releasing Pixar films.

igerjobs

Steve Jobs and Bob Iger. Image credit: Paul Sakuma/A.P. Photo

Iger broke the ice with Jobs and rekindled a relationship by praising the iPod and discussing iTunes as a television platform.

I'd been thinking about the future of television, and believed it was only a matter of time before we would be accessing TV shows and movies on our computers. I didn't know how fast mobile technology was going to evolve (the iPhone was still two years away), so what I was imagining was an iTunes platform for television, "iTV," as I described it. Steve was silent for a while, and then finally said, "I'm going to come back to you on this. I'm working on something I want to show you."

Jobs went on to tell Iger about the video iPod, and asked Iger to put Disney TV shows on it, which Iger agreed to, leading to a solid friendship between the two and ultimately, a new Disney/Pixar deal.

According to Iger, in 2006 just ahead of when Disney was set to announce its acquisition of Pixar, Jobs told Iger that his cancer had returned and spread to his liver, giving Iger time to back out of the deal.

He told me the cancer was now in his liver and he talked about the odds of beating it. He was going to do whatever it took to be at his son Reed's high school graduation, he said. When he told me that was four years away, I felt devastated. It was impossible to be having these two conversations--about Steve facing his impending death and about the deal we were supposed to be closing in minutes--at the same time.

After the acquisition, Jobs underwent cancer treatment and served on Disney's board as Disney's largest shareholder. He weighed in on important Disney decisions like the acquisition of Marvel, and even vacationed with Iger on occasion. "Our connection was much more than a business relationship," wrote Iger.

Iger says that with each Disney success, there's always a moment where he wishes Jobs was there, and further, he believes that if Jobs were still alive, the two companies may have merged.

With every success the company has had since Steve's death, there's always a moment in the midst of my excitement when I think, I wish Steve could be here for this. It's impossible not to have the conversation with him in my head that I wish I could be having in real life. More than that, I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.

"The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company" is set to be released on September 23, 2019. It can be pre-ordered from Amazon for $19.60.

The full excerpt, which has a lot more on the history of the deal between Disney and Pixar, can be read over at Vanity Fair.

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
26 months ago

If Steve Jobs we’re alive the iPhone would be a lot more than it is right now. Not stupid little incremental updates

James
James, in all honesty, I don’t think you understand how smart phones evolve . What’s incremental to you might be a major upgrade to someone else who is upgrading from an iPhone 6 or 7.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
26 months ago

If Steve Jobs we’re alive the iPhone would be a lot more than it is right now. Not stupid little incremental updates

James
I just spoke to him. He says you are wrong.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JForestZ34 Avatar
26 months ago
If Steve Jobs we’re alive the iPhone would be a lot more than it is right now. Not stupid little incremental updates

James
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danny842003 Avatar
26 months ago

My phone is far from feature complete. Its a visionless brick. I have an iPhone 7.
The software is outdated and it could do way more.
Why didn't apple buy a network carrier and esteblishes a tight net of coverage worldwide?
Why scratches the thing still, more drop resistance.
Why not foldable, 1 week battery life

Its focus was on things that could easily be achieved - just bigger and more cameras - 8 years of ripp off - the 4s is still my favorite, just too slow, unfortunately
Could you calm down you’re not making sense.
You want lots to change but none of the changes since the 4s? You sound a bit hysterical
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
26 months ago
This article brought tears to my eyes.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Onelifenofear Avatar
26 months ago

first, this dark mode is dank. good job MR's.
unpleasantly damp and cold or wet?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...