Disney CEO Eisner: Steve Jobs ‘created the computer, or at least Windows, or whatever he created, an

“His company is in play and his job may be on the line, but Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner showed on Thursday that he can still crack a joke under pressure… Eisner reserved his best barb for Steve Jobs, the CEO of Pixar and also co-founder of Apple Computer Inc., whose Macintosh computers are a leading alternative to PCs running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system,” Ben Berkowitz reports for Reuters.

“‘He created the computer, or at least Windows, or whatever he created, and did a good job,’ Eisner said to peals of laughter from analysts attending the company conference in Orlando, Florida. Eisner was addressing the collapse of talks between Disney and Pixar on extending their partnership, which has generated five smash hits including last year’s ‘Finding Nemo,'” Berkowitz reports. “Since those talks failed late last month, Eisner and Jobs have traded barbs, each blaming the other. ‘You’d be killing me today if you read the deal we offered them,’ he told the analysts.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Berkowitz may have thought it was a joke, but we’re not so sure Eisner trying to be funny; in fact, he was pretty much right on the money. Steve Jobs did have a large role in creating the personal computer and since Windows is basically a convoluted attempt at trying to simulate Mac OS Classic on X86 hardware, Jobs basically did help create Windows – by proxy at least.

30 Comments

  1. I think Eisner meant to say that all of Steve’s creative effort was for naught. He created the first personal computer, and the first GUI, and blew it all because Apple is now so insignificant.

    The gist of it is that he made five smash-hit movies, and now he’s blown it yet again.

  2. I don’t think that Eisner was trying to be funny; I think that this quote shows just how little he knows about technology and how much he needs to go (whether on his own, or by being pushed).

    Remember, this was the guy who misinterpreted “Rip, Mix, Burn” and recently signed an agreement to use Microsoft’s lousy lossy codec for distribution of Disney media.

  3. Eisner is not stupid. He’s a jerk, but he’s smart. More importantly, he’s got a pretty hardcore hardball machine working for him.

    He has been in talks with Pixar for a while. He’s been negotiating with Steve. Do you think he would go to the negotiating table without knowing all about Steve? He probably knows what color underwear Steve prefers. And he knows how to hurt him on a personal level.

  4. Media lock-down vs. the free flow of ideas, data, information – how this shakes out will have major social ramifications. Cabals of power are veyying to impose their DRM over our DRM. I pray Freeplay or better prevails!

  5. Kenny:

    Crap. Eisner obviously isn’t stupid, pretty much like Bush isn’t stupid, but let’s clear this up.

    Firstly, Jobs and Lassiter were using Disney as a distribution channel for its films – NOT for anything Disney could offer creatively. Why? Because, Eisner has been so busy on his slash and burn tactic of cutting heads at Disney’s creative department to save his bottom line for one. And two, Eisner shut down the so-called ‘Secret Lab’ (its only in-house CGI studio) a few years back when its first attempt, Dinosaurs, bombed at the box office.

    Eisner is a miserly bean-counter intent on putting out entertainment that is derivative, cheap, and easily digestible, such as Treasure Planet and That’s So Raven. The former bombed at the box office and the latter is cheap and nasty television.

    In contrast, Pixar have produced Toy Story, Toy Story II, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo – all smash hits.

    On the financial front, while this debacle was going on, Eisner as CEO managed to pay himself $737m over the last five years. And while his personal income grew, Disney’s five-year net income shrank an average of 3.1% year on year. Wow, that’s good business… ha!

    Eisner IS stupid…. his legendary arrogance, prickly demeanor and autocratic management style had key creative talent scrambling for the nearest exit – usually before they were pushed.

    Jobs and Lassiter do not need Disney, there will be distribution companies falling over themselves to handle Pixar’s output – a guaranteed money spinner.

  6. I forgot to add one final comment at the end of my piece.

    Eisner paid himself $737m, that’s $147.4 million PER YEAR – that is one hell of a salary, people! And he’d filled the board at Disney with his cronies so no one would complain… yes, as a CEO he stands out as one of the biggest pigs at the corporate trough – and that’s according to Forbes magazine – and I agree.

    He was taking this rake off while Disney was being canned on the markets, producing flop after flop and firing crucial creative staff left and right. He’s no better than an assett stripper.

    I say all this as someone who hates Disney with a passion – especially Walt Disney, the man – for the racist, anti-semite and McCarthyite stooge he was.

    Yep, sack the parasite Eisner [with no golden handshake – he’s already bled the company dry], install either Jobs or Lassiter after the ComCast takeover – and get Pixar to run the creative department. Now that’d be a decent company…

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