Apple CEO Steve Jobs “will have to navigate a minefield of conflicts as he runs Apple and sits on Disney’s board. He’ll also have to demonstrate he can take on the unfamiliar role of supporting player. The same perfectionism that allows him to help create great products has made it difficult for him to stand by if someone is going in what he considers the wrong direction. When he returned to Apple as part of the next acquisition, he insisted he didn’t want Amelio’s job, and then quickly took charge. Already, there’s speculation in Silicon Valley that Disney’s chief could get ‘Amelioed,'” Peter Burrows and Ronald Grover write for BusinessWeek.
“Iger isn’t in the most secure spot. He has revamped Disney’s management style and has improved some operations. Still, the company’s stock is at about the same level it was a decade ago. And Iger has only been CEO a few months, so he’s on new footing with Disney’s directors. One management expert calls the Jobs move “courageous” but says “Iger just put a gun to his head,” predicting that Jobs’s influence in the boardroom would be so pervasive that Iger could be gone within a year,” Burrows and Grover write. “Jobs declined to be interviewed for this article. But some executives who know him well insist that Iger has nothing to fear. ‘People are misreading Steve Jobs,’ says Edgar S. Woolard Jr., the former chairman of Apple and former chairman and CEO of chemical giant DuPont. ‘If he has a good relationship with you, there is nobody better in the world to work with. Iger made a very wise move, and two years from now everyone will be saying that.'”
“Jobs certainly has much to offer… Jobs has applied his old strategy to the new digital world. With absolute control, breakout innovation, and stellar marketing, he has created products that consumers lust after. The smooth melding of Apple’s iPod with the iTunes software has helped make it an icon of the Digital Age. Rivals from Microsoft to Dell to Sony (SNE). have been left in the dust,” Burrows and Grover write. “In the final analysis, Jobs’s true secret weapon is his ability to meld technical vision with a gut feel for what regular consumers want and then market it in ways that make consumers want to be part of tech’s cool club. Says a leading tech CEO who requested anonymity: ‘God usually makes us either left brain people or right brain people. Steve seems to have both sides, so he can make extraordinary experiences.'”
“The Disney deal may help give Jobs some additional credibility in the media world. While he had a major stake in Pixar in the past, he now sits on the board of one of the biggest media companies in the country. That means he has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the company’s assets, from Desperate Housewives to Mickey Mouse,” Burrows and Grover write. “Jobs has said he doesn’t want the Disney top board job. Plus, that would complicate the potential conflicts of interest with Apple, as Disney makes more high-tech deals to distribute its content. Still, the mercurial new Disney board member could make a play to become chairman, say those with knowledge of Disney’s board. “The problem then is that Bob would have a larger-than-life chairman to deal with only a year after a larger-than-life CEO was running his life,” says one source close to Disney. ‘I can’t imagine he’s thrilled over that.’ Steve Jobs’s arrival at the Magic Kingdom could have more thrills than a trip to Disneyland.”
Full article with much more here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “George L.” for the link.]
• MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
• iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
• iMac and MacBook Pro owners: Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using dial-up service. $49.00.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
Only one man can control Disney: Bob Iger vs. Steve Jobs – January 26, 2006
BusinessWeek: Steve Jobs poised to become the 21st Century’s first real media giant? – January 26, 2006
BBC: Steve Jobs has ‘cemented his position as a main player in the technology and media industries’ – January 26, 2006
SmartMoney: The New King of All Media is Apple’s Steve Jobs – January 24, 2006
Apple adds 10 Disney classic short films to U.S. iTunes Music Store – January 24, 2006
Steve Jobs, Bob Iger appear live on CNBC – January 24, 2006
It’s official: Disney acquires Pixar for $7.4 billion, Steve Jobs joins Disney Board of Directors – January 24, 2006