View Full Version : EDITORIAL: Storming the Magic Kingdom

12 December 2003, 05:04 PM
"As Stanley Gold officially joins the "Oust Eisner" army, Jim Hill now turns our attention to the next significant players in this Disney boardroom drama: Steve Jobs and John Lasseter. Yep, this story's about to get REALLY interesting.

"Well, it's official. No one at Walt Disney Company headquarters in Burbank, CA got any work done yesterday.

By that I mean: Just as the initial hubbub surrounding Roy's resignation had begun dying down (and the first wisecracks to be directly associated with Disney's departure began surfaced. Here's two of them: "Well, Michael Eisner had been hoping that some story would come along to take the public's mind off of the Big Thunder accident at Disneyland. I guess he got his wish." and "For the first time in years, a 'Michael's in trouble' headline in Variety doesn't automatically mean Michael Jackson."), then the Stanley Gold resignation story broke.

And then -- at 2 p.m. PST -- Roy and Stanley appeared on CNBC. And -- toward the tail end of that interview -- Walt's nephew played the Pixar card. And then this already fascinating story got really, REALLY interesting.

How so? Well, take a gander at this quote from Roy. This was in response to a CNBC reporter's question about the status of the Disney / Pixar contract extension negotiations:

"I was about to go up and see my friend, John Lasseter in Emeryville a few weeks ago and was asked not to go there by Michael Eisner because he didn't want Disney executives and Pixar executives rubbing shoulders, so to speak. So I was asked not so politely to stay out of that."

Now what's so significant about that? Well, how many of you recall hearing in late October / early November how things were going much better with the Pixar / Disney contract extension talks? How most of the differences between the two corporations had been ironed out and that there was now a deal on the table that both companies could live with? Back then, it seemed like it would be only days 'til this deal would finally officially close ... then Steve Jobs (even though he had gotten absolutely everything that he asked for from Disney) abruptly announced that he would be putting off making a decision about whether his company should be extending their deal with the Mouse 'til the middle of 2004."

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