Excerpt from a review of a new Pixar book (read the full review for more historical tidbits and insights into the non-fake Steve Jobs' modus operandi)
Frustrated with Lucas, the Computer Division renamed itself Pixar in 1986 and sought an outside investor. Through a friendship with Alan Kay, a crucial figure in the earlier creation of the personal computer at Xerox PARC, Pixar’s central figures were introduced to Steve Jobs, already worth $185 million and beginning his Apple exile. After Jobs’s $5 million offer was rejected [pok: it was later accepted], the team attempted to do a deal with Disney, then a bastion of hand-painted cel animation. Pixar’s cause was championed by Disney’s chief technologist, Stan Kinsey, who was convinced that Pixar’s technologies would “not only lower costs, but also allow freer camera moves and a richer use of colors.” Kinsey wanted Disney to buy Pixar outright for $15 million, but he was overruled by Jeffrey Katzenberg, then head of Walt Disney Studios. “I can’t waste my time on this stuff,” Kinsey says Katzenberg told him.
Eisner’s penny-smart, pound-foolish negotiations with Jobs, and the fact that their personal relationship devolved to the point that Jobs refused to talk to him, ultimately left it to his successor, the more conciliatory Robert Iger, to offer Jobs $7.4 billion to buy Pixar outright. Since Pixar had effectively become the new Disney, it was the only move he could make, no matter the cost.