26 years ago, Pixar’s IPO made Steve Jobs a billionaire

26 years ago, the initial public offering of Pixar made Steve Jobs, who owned upward of 80% of the company, a billionaire.

The Steve Jobs Building at Pixar
The Steve Jobs Building at Pixar

Luke Dormehl for Cult of Mac:

After the windfall, one of the first people Jobs calls is his friend, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, already a member of the billionaire’s club.

“Hello, Larry?” Jobs tells his friend on the phone. “I made it.”

Jobs invested in Pixar during his time outside Apple. He bought the majority interest in the animation studio from Star Wars creator George Lucas for just $5 million (and an extra $5 million in guaranteed funding) in early 1986.

Jobs’ truly deserved the Pixar IPO home run. He possessed an unswerving faith in the possibilities offered by computer-animated movies. And he funded this dream until Moore’s law caught up with it. He also helped broker the deal that brought Toy Story to silver screens.

After the IPO, Jobs negotiated a new five-picture deal between Pixar and Disney. It gave Pixar an equal share of the profits, along with merchandise and on-screen credits. (By way of contrast, the Toy Story deal tilted heavily in Disney’s favor.)

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs was very obviously a rare and brilliant visionary.

In January 2006, Disney acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion and Steve Jobs joined joined Disney’s Board of Directors.

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