Steve Jobs Leaves Pixar Without Its ‘Guiding Light'

Twenty-six Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards ago, Pixar was just a twinkle in Steve Jobs eye.

The Apple CEO did not find the company in the true sense of the word but he did not find it in 1986, seven years after it was launched, in another sense.

Jobs purchased Pixar from "Star Wars" legend George Lucas for $5 million in 1986 shortly after Jobs left Apple.

In a 2003 interview with "60 Minutes," Jobs said he purchased Pixar partly to fulfill the dream of the company's current chief creative officer, Ed Catmull, to develop the world's first full feature animated movie.

Under Jobs guidance, the company was transformed from one whose focus was on hardware to one that brought the world "Toy Story" and "Up."

Pixar's true financial success came when Jobs decided not to sell the company and instead partner with Disney to distribute the films.

The move proved profitable for both companies -- though they would later have their differences -- and it landed Jobs a spot on Disney's board and the position of the company's largest stock holder.

Wednesday, Pixar put out a statement about Jobs impact on the Emeryville-based company, calling him its "guiding light.'

John Lasseter, the chief creative Officer, and Ed Catmull, the president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios put out the following statement:

Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great.' He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.

You can watch the full clip from "60 Minutes" for more on Jobs history with Pixar.

Contact Us