updated 12:30 pm EST, Mon January 30, 2006
Jobs, Disney good match
Contradicting some pessimistic views of Steve Jobs' future on the board of Walt Disney, former Apple board member Edgar Woolard Jr. spoke about what he expects from Jobs in a Business Week interview. Jobs, who sold Pixar Animation Studios to Disney on January 24th, has often been portrayed as power hungry and uncompromising, but Woolard thinks otherwise. Woolard finds the Disney-Pixar merger to be a "fantastic" one, as these are two companies "that have been involved in a partnership that has worked extremely well, and [the merger] will take it to another level." Woolard believes concerns over Steve Jobs' need to be in control are nonsense, saying "[Jobs] will not come in with a heavy hand. I think he will try very hard to identify opportunities, and I think he will listen carefully to what Iger and the Disney management team has in mind, and will add suggestions."
During the interview, Woolard spoke of what he says are Steve Jobs' five "special characteristics"--his creativity and vision, perfectionism, the ability to attract outstanding employees, his desire for mutual respect and sharing of ideas, and how "the damn guy knows how to make money! He just makes money. I remember how he cut inventory from over $400 million to less than $100 million in one year's time."
Responding to speculation that Jobs may try to take Disney CEO Robert Iger's position, Woolard said "that's so phony. He has no desire to be the CEO of a big multifaceted company. He likes to be in the action-- where he can get three or four people to work around the clock to come up with some great idea. My God, I think the beaurocracy at Disney would drive him crazy! And guess what? He still has a full-time job at Apple... he's got a big job there."