In January 2006, I joined Steve Jobs in Emeryville, California, to announce Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, the acclaimed animation studio chaired by Steve. I had become CEO of Disney just three months prior, and the deal represented an enormous opportunity—and risk—for the company and me personally. The plan that day was to release the announcement after the stock market closed at 1 p.m. PT, then hold a press conference and a town hall meeting with Pixar’s employees…
Just after noon, Steve pulled me aside. “Let’s take a walk,” he said… I looked at my watch. It was 12:15. We walked for a while and then sat on a bench in the middle of Pixar’s beautiful, manicured grounds. Steve put his arm behind me, which was a nice, unexpected gesture. He said, “I’m going to tell you something that only Laurene”—his wife—“and my doctors know.” He asked me for complete confidentiality, and then he told me that his cancer had returned…
We walked in silence back to the atrium. That night I took my wife, Willow Bay, into my confidence. Willow had known Steve for years, since long before I knew him, and instead of toasting what had been a momentous day in my early tenure as CEO, we cried together over the news. No matter what he told me, no matter how resolved he would be in his fight with cancer, we dreaded what was ahead for him.
MacDailyNews Take: Sigh.
Another interesting quote from Iger, “With every success the company has had since Steve’s death, there’s always a moment in the midst of my excitement when I think, I wish Steve could be here for this. It’s impossible not to have the conversation with him in my head that I wish I could be having in real life. More than that, I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.”
There’s much more in the full article, highly recommended.
Bonus video: Steve Jobs introduces TV Shows to the iTunes Store: