Walt Disney Co (DIS) CEO Recalls Great Relationship with Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) CEO, Bob Iger recently recalled his great working relationship with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder late Steve Jobs. Iger personally approached Jobs in 2005 to mend the strained relationship between his company and Pixar. Then Steve recognized a great partner in Iger.

Pixar’s Ed Catmull told to Fortune that they thought of each other as true technology partners in the subsequent years. The relationship also helped securing distribution of ABC programming on the Apple’s iTunes store, despite backlash from retailers, affiliates and guilds. The move was announced alongside the unveiling of video iPod in 2005.

Iger recalled that the pact came at a significant cost, but it changed my relationship with Jobs and also helped better pursue dialogue on Pixar. Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) later acquired Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, proving the long-lasting and far-reaching effects of their relationship and the decision, in particular.

As part of the deal, Pixar’s Catmull and Lasseter took over Disney’s animation division. The Pixar transaction also helped Jobs become the largest shareholder of Disney. Later in his life, Jobs requested Iger to replace him on the Apple board and Disney CEO still holds that position to date.

Iger also recalled instances of conversations with Jobs where the duo discussed much broader themes and ideas on business. He recalled that they talked a lot about the intersection of content and technology, of the story and the gadget. Iger also regarded Jobs for his great work in positioning Apple at the intersection of liberal arts and technology.

Even after Jobs, both Walt Disney and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are still working together, with Tim Cook also believing in Iger’s capabilities. Cook said that being a Walt Disney veteran, Iger better understands the tradition and yet he isn’t wedded to it, and has the courage to “lose sight of the shore.”