Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Disney to Buy Pixar?

I'm well into James Stewart's fascinating review the Disney Corporation through the Eisner years, Disney War. In fact, I'm just at the point where the relationship between Eisner and Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Pixar, is totally breaking down. In fact, Jobs ended up personally loathing Eisner, stating that he wouldn't sign another contract with Disney as long as Eisner was CEO.

Which makes today's news (Disney is close to buying Pixar) kinda interesting - to me, at least.

Of course, Eisner is gone. His replacement, Bob Iger (who doesn't come off entirely well in the book, though better than his boss) tried to keep their relationship together from day one. So I guess it's no surprise that Jobs would do a deal with him.

What did surprise me is that the deal would put Jobs on the Disney board. If anyone fares the worst in the book, it would have to be the Disney Board. They were weak, vacillating, totally cowed by Eisner's threats, and unmoved to act in the face of year upon year of missed targets and poor results by the company's leadership. The Board seemed a cozy, steady-as-she goes group of non-boat rockers.

(Of course, most of that board is gone, aside from Gary Wilson, who I'm sure doens't trade Valentine's cards with Mr. Stewart, the author, and George Mitchell, who comes across as the new guy hoping to be all buddy-buddy with everyone - demeaning himself in the process.)

Mr. Jobs' in-your-face, nontraditional, break-it-if-it-ain't broke ethic will be interesting to observe.


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