Published On: Sun, Mar 22nd, 2015

New Book: Steve Jobs told Bob Iger about his Cancer 30 Minutes before Disney Bought Pixar

The $7 billion Pixar deal made Jobs Disney's biggest shareholder, giving him a seat on the company's board.

Steve Jobs,   Bob Iger

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger in 2006 discovered that Steve Jobs’ cancer had returned 30 minutes before Disney announced it was buying Pixar studio, and kept it a secret for three years, according to the new biography “Becoming Steve Jobs.”

The book is the latest examination of Apple’s former CEO, who died in October 2011 of pancreatic cancer. According to reports, this is a more sympathetic depiction of Jobs than the biography by Walter Isaacson.

The $7 billion Pixar deal made Jobs Disney’s biggest shareholder, giving him a seat on the company’s board.

Iger’s reasons for not disclosing Jobs’ condition was that he decided Disney valued the transaction on the worth of Pixar, not Jobs.

Iger said he told Jobs: “You’re our largest shareholder, but I don’t consider that tends to make this matter. You are not material to this deal. We’re buying Pixar, we’re not acquiring you.”

Iger said Jobs told him his cancer was back on a private walk at Pixar’s Emeryville, CA campus, saying: “Frankly, they tell me I’ve got a 50-50 chance of living five years.”

“So I stare at my watch and we’ve got 30 minutes, ” Iger recalled. “In 30 minutes, we’re going to make this announcement. We’ve got TV crews, we’ve got the board votes, we’ve got investment bankers. The wheels are turning. And I am pondering, ‘We’re in this post Sarbanes-Oxley world, and Enron and fiduciary responsibility, and he is going to be our largest shareholder and I am now getting asked to bury a secret.'”

Iger said that in the 3-years that followed, ” I generally knew precisely what was going on with Steve medically. He and I would talk all the time, and due to the fact I kept points secret he confided in me.”

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