Bob Iger became a constant figure in the headlines of the technological press of recent days. First, the CEO of Walt Disney Company announced its departure from Apple's board of directors for obvious reasons, as companies will soon become direct competitors in the streaming with the launch of Apple TV + It's from Disney +.
Now, Iger has returned to the news with a rather curious statement. The executive will soon publish the book “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company”obviously focusing on his journey as head of the Mickey Mouse House and various aspects of his management including his relationship with Steve Jobs.
Jobs, as is well known, had a close relationship with Disney (and Iger himself) when the giant acquired Pixar after years of a fruitful partnership that spawned classics like "Toy Story" and "The Incredibles." In an excerpt from the future book published by Vanity fair, Iger confirms a hypothesis that has always been speculated, but never verbalized: that Apple and Disney could eventually merge this if Jobs were still alive.
The passage, in which Iger still mourns his friend's death and states that he still has frequent imaginary conversations with him, reads as follows:
With every success that the company (Disney) has had since Steve's death, there is always a moment amid my excitement when I stop and think, "I wish Steve was here to see this." It is impossible not to talk to him in my head and wish this conversation was real. More than that, I believe that if he were still alive we would have merged our companies or at least discussed this possibility very seriously.
Iger did not expand on this statement, but told in the published excerpt other details of his relationship with Jobs. According to the executive, the friendship between the two was established in the mid-2000s before that, the relationship was merely cordial, especially due to Jobs's frequent clashes with Michael Eisner, the former Disney CEO,
It was in 2005 that Iger and Jobs really became friends and because of one unsuspected element: the iPod video.
I was thinking about the future of television, and I believed it would be a matter of time until we could access series and movies on our computers. I didn't know how fast mobile technology was advancing (the iPhone would still take two years to come), so what I was imagining was an iTunes platform for “iTV” television, as I described it. Steve was silent for a while, and then said, “I'll talk to you again about this. I'm working on something I want to show you. ”
Some time later, Jobs showed Iger the iPod video, asking him to make Disney series available on the platform. The executive accepted the proposal, and the two became friends even to take cold holidays together. The turnaround in the relationship also provided a new deal between Disney and Pixar, and made Jobs much more involved in the decisions of Mickey Mouse House; According to Iger, Apple's co-creator even opined on the acquisition of Marvel, completed in 2009.
“The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company” is pre-sold on Amazon for $ 114 (or $ 85.07 in Kindle version), and will be released next Monday (9/23).