Biggest cheers reserved for Apple CEO Steve Jobs at Disney’s annual meeting

“There was plenty of applause to go around on Mar. 10 at Disney’s first annual meeting under CEO Robert Iger, who replaced Michael Eisner in October. Iger got a healthy reception from the estimated 4,000 Disney faithful in Anaheim,” Ronald Grover reports for BusinessWeek. “There was wild cheering — and some whoops — for former Disney board member Roy Disney, who led the shareholder revolt that eventually forced Eisner’s early departure. Even Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, founder Walt’s pre-Mickey Mouse creation, got a hand when his image flashed on the giant screen behind Iger. Rights to Oswald were recently reacquired from Universal Pictures, Iger explained… But the biggest hand was reserved for a guy who wasn’t even at the meeting: Steve Jobs, the mercurial Apple Computer founder. Jobs is scheduled to join the Disney board in a few months, when Disney’s $7.4 billion deal to buy Jobs’s Pixar Animation Studios becomes official.”

“Notably absent from the lovefest was Eisner, the company’s largest shareholder with a 1.7% stake,” Grover reports. “While Jobs didn’t make the trip to Anaheim from Northern California, the studio was represented by its top creative guru, onetime Disney animator John Lasseter, the creative force behind such Pixar hits as Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. Under the terms of the Pixar deal, Lasseter is scheduled to become Disney’s top creative officer, with influence both at the company’s theme parks and in animation… The animation wiz then introduced film clips of the next two films that Pixar is making for Disney — Cars, debuting in June, 2006, and Ratatouille, scheduled to come out in June, 2007. A good sign for Disney shareholders: The place was rolling with laughs as Lasseter played the 10 minute trailer for Cars.

Full article here.
Steve Jobs will become Disney’s largest shareholder with an estimated 7% stake, dwarfing Eisner, when the Pixar deal becomes official. There is also speculation that Jobs will replace outgoing Chairman of the Board George Mitchell later this year along with rumblings that Apple Computer might launch a bid to buyout Disney.

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Related articles:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs might launch bid for Disney – March 02, 2006
Stock futures up on speculation that Apple will snap up Disney – February 27, 2006
Barron’s: Apple Computer could buyout Disney – February 25, 2006
Cringely wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple+Disney+Pixar+others as single huge company in 5 years – January 27, 2006
Steve Jobs’ arrival at the Magic Kingdom could have more thrills than trip to Disneyland – January 27, 2006
Report: Disney buys Pixar for approx. $7 billion, Steve Jobs to become Disney’s largest shareholder – January 23, 2006

16 Comments

  1. Steve B, we are doomed. The happiest people on eart are switching to Mac. So what are we doing here?

    Steve: At least I still have a foundation to run, how about you, steve?

    Steve B: I will go the music industry and produce my 1st own music album, title: “Who let’s the monkey out, hu hah hu hu ha” …… But wait a minute…., people awill be downloading my music by using the bloody iTunes!!!@#$*. Yes, we are doomed indeed. Tell you what Bill, I think I better go back to the zoo and become a monkey keeper.

    Bill: That’s a splendid brillion creative idea. Go for it, Bill

    Steve: C ya Bill, nice working with you.

    Bill: Me too.

    Steve: I will bring my whole family to Disney. If I am lucky, I may meet up the legendary S.J.and I will ask him for an autograph and taking a picture together with him.

    Bill: May the force be with you.

    Steve: I love this company.

  2. The Best buy would still be the Apple buyout Adobe

    And extend the life of that crappy carbon code?
    Oh no, please let it die alone…
    Apple does not need Adobe. If only Apple released a companion to Aperture, that is, a new product that could become a Photoshop killer, then we wouldn’t need Adobe for anything.

  3. I do not see the potential Apple buyout of or merger with Disney as a good thing for Apple. With the two companies not wedded together, they can still make deals for Apple to handle the digital distribution for Disney and do so without creating competitors out of the other content owners. Scaring away NBC, CBS, Universal and the rest of Hollywood minus Disney is not a good business plan — unless Steve Jobs has some insanely great strategy that nobody has ever dreamed of.

    Buying Adobe does make a lot of sense. Adobe is all about quality in what they do and their products are in areas critical to Apple — a great fit. They are also making noises about going after the appliance market, even refrigerators, with ease of use designed controls with flash enabled screens. That is market that Steve Jobs has written about and has an interest in. Apple needs to buy out this asset/threat before it becomes impossible because of the anti trust laws. But Apple will have to wait until its stock zooms back up, which I have no doubt that it will.

    Oh well, I am out on a limb here. I hope I don’t have to eat my words. But if AAPL rockets up, up and away, I really won’t care.

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