The Motley Fool writer gives Steve Jobs odds of 3-to-1 to become Disney CEO

“It’s been barely a week since Disney CEO Michael Eisner announced that he would be stepping down when his contract runs out in two years. However, even though he has seemingly tapped his successor, a lot can happen between now and September 2006,’ Rick Aristotle Munarriz writes for The Motley Fool.

Munarriz gives Steve Jobs odds of 3-to-1 to become Disney CEO and writes, “There are more than a few Disney purists — I among them — who would like to see Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs get a crack at running Disney. As a charismatic visionary with a knack for quality, he may very well be this generation’s response to Walter Elias Disney. Thanks to Apple’s dominance in digital music and his majority stake in the world’s new animation leader — Stock Advisor recommendation Pixar — Jobs is already in deep when it comes to entertainment. While awkward, this would also open the door for Disney and Pixar to find some form of working relationship beyond 2005. Whether it’s a simple distribution agreement or a total buyout, all roads to Pixar lead through Jobs, who may fall to the persuasion of running the world’s leading family entertainment powerhouse with a bent for the future.”

Munarriz also gives John Lasseter odds of 25-to-1, writing, “As the genius mastermind behind Pixar’s streak of box-office gold, Lasseter’s chances would be much higher if Disney wasn’t bent on growing its network business over its own animation prospects. And, yes, he has a long-term contract with Pixar, and if he was ever a viable candidate, it would be under terms in which Jobs and Disney were on good terms — which would make Jobs the more likely helmsman.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Who would run Apple? Can Jobs really do Disney and Apple and Pixar all at once? We don’t know quite how he manages to run both Pixar and Apple now. Something(s) would probably have to give (or merge) for anything like this to happen. If Jobs would be offered the chance to run Disney, it would be very tempting for him, we’d imagine.


  1. I think there’s a greater chance that Thurrot will admit he loves the Mac than that Steve would go to Disney.
    Why would he go ?
    He doesn’t need the money
    He already (effectively) owns a movie studio
    Disney is not cool (and in fact has lost their way over the past 20 years)
    He’d miss the Stevenotes

    — bjh

  2. Motley Fool I find an interesting and amusing site. Their comments often raise different viewpoints, often contrarian. Good for stimulating thought but I wouldn’t rate their prophetic skills very highly.

    Steve Jobs isn’t motivated by what motivates most business people (more money!). Both Pixar and Apple have high fun compenents, Disney is more like a hard slog.

  3. bjh-

    I think Jobs likes to show the world his visions of the way things should be, and Disney would be an amazing platform to do that from, for any visionary…. you are right, it is not about the money.

  4. Jobs may be the majority stockholder, but he does not neccessarily “run” Pixar. John Lassiter is much more of the “Jobsian” visionary at Pixar than Steve. This in fact is often seen as the secret to the company’s success: in Lassiter, Pixar has the perfect boss/visionary, so Steve basically stays out of the way while Lassiter runs the show. Judging by the company’s successful track record, this is the way it should be.

    I tend to think we’d all be better off if Jobs and Lassiter stayed where they are and Disney found a new CEO somewhere else. Michael Eisner has endorsed current Disney president Robert Iger — who has expressed publicly that he’d be interested in the gig — so Iger is probably the odds-on favorite to succeed Eisner at this point.

    “Jobs to Disney” has become a standard parlor game for Apple watchers. I personally don’t see it ever actually happening.

  5. How about no. As it is Apple has been slacking on OS X with the all their attention on the iPod & iTunes.. This would only make it worse. I love Apple I wish they would just relax a little with this music stuff and go back to what made them so great.

  6. No problemo. Steve can single handedly manage the company that is formed from these:
    Disney Sun(ny) Apple Pixar USA

    The new company will be called acording to Apple, Next, Pixar locig… Steve

    The Steve company will cure cancer, save jobs and remove all evil among other positive things.

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  7. The question all these pundits seem to forget is not “Can Steve Jobs run Disney” it is “Why would he want to?” People who have built their own campanies rarely want to work for someone else and the rare examples of their trying is not encouraging.
    Steve Jobs has “run the show” wherever he was for a very long time and has uncontested power at Apple; working at Disney would be very different. If your name is not on the building (Ford CEO William “Billy” Ford) it is very hard to come in and have the kind of sweeping authority someone like Steve Jobs would want to have in order to persue his vision for the company.
    When Steve Jobs came back to Apple he asked the entire Corporate Board to resign. He was given unprecedented lattitude only because of who he was (a founder) and the dire straits the company was in- Apple was months away from turning out the lights forever. The major stockholders in Disney would never grant him that kind of power. They might promise it but would never allow it to be exercised.

  8. If it happened, I could see Steve opting to remain chairman of Apple and Pixar, while letting Lasseter run day-to-day at Pixar and someone (or maybe co-CEOs) running day-to-day at Apple, under his direction.

    That would allow him to keep some control over the present companies while exploring a Disney venture. If he had the right people and structure in place, he could very well do it— well.

    (Hint: It’s not that hard, after what Eisner’s done over the years.)

  9. Don’t worry about what would happen if Jobs left Apple for Disney. There are at least 20 people on this these forums alone who think they could do a better job of running Apple than Steve.

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