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NY Post: Steve Jobs Offers Pixar If Disney Boots Eisner

NY Post: Steve Jobs Offers Pixar If Disney Boots Eisner

by , 4:15 PM EDT, April 9th, 2004

The New York Post has published an unsourced piece saying that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has offered monster carrot to Disney's board. According to the newspaper, Mr. Jobs is letting it be known that he would bring his other company, Pixar, back to Disney if Disney's board were to can Michael Eisner.

This offer stems from Pixar's highly publicized divorce with Disney after its current contract expires. Steve Jobs has been attempting to negotiate a more favorable distribution deal for Pixar, whose films have generated the lion's share of Disney's profits over the last several years, and whose films have broken all the records once held by Disney-produced animated films. Talks between the two company ended in January of this year, with Mr. Jobs since shopping Pixar around to other distributors. The Post's report says that those other talks have been put on hold while Mr. Jobs has let his offer make its way to Disney's board.

Michael Eisner officially has the term "beleaguered" attached to him, as he was recently stripped of the chairmanship of Disney's board, often a first step in removing a high-profile CEO. Mr. Eisner has come under attack as many of Disney's films have tanked at the box office, and many others saying that Mr. Eisner has stripped his company of the creative talent for which it was once known.

From the Post's report:

Steve Jobs wants to return to the Disney fold if Michael Eisner is ousted as CEO, The Post has learned.

In January, Jobs' Pixar Animation Studios dealt a serious blow to Eisner when it announced it was ending talks on extending a lucrative movie deal with Disney.

But lately, Jobs has told associates in Hollywood that he would like to re-up with Disney if Eisner is pushed out, according to sources close to Jobs.

When Pixar ended the talks with Disney, Jobs said in a statement that the company would enter talks with other studios. But now those talks are on hold as Jobs waits to see what Disney's board of directors does in the wake of a shareholder revolt against Eisner, sources say.

You can find the full article at the NY Post's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

So the real question, of course, is whether or not Mr. Jobs will offer a little somethin'-something' to sweeten the pot. Namely, himself. It has often been rumored that Steve Jobs would like to run Disney. We don't know that to be necessarily true, of course, and we don't know if Disney would want Mr. Jobs. We'd actually like to see him stay at Apple, and doubt that he could run Disney and Apple at the same time. Still, there's nothing about that in the Post's piece, so we'll all just have to keep watching.

In the meanwhile, we will be surprised if Disney's board doesn't at least seriously consider trading Eisner for Pixar. Certainly the latter has made more money for Disney.

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