Disney CEO Bob Iger turned down an offer to sit on Google’s board after late Apple CEO Steve Jobs advised him against taking the seat, according to a new book about the Apple founder.
Jobs told Iger to spurn Google’s offer because Jobs didn’t want his friend getting closer to a rival tech company, Iger told writer Brent Schlender and Fast Company Executive Editor Rick Tetzeli for their upcoming Jobs biography. The book, Becoming Steve Jobs, hits shelves March 24.
His relationship with Iger had become so strong that Steve had wanted Iger to join the Apple board, which Iger couldn’t do for fiduciary reasons. In fact, because of their friendship, Iger also turned down an invitation from Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt to be on Google’s board. “He told me he’d get jealous,” says Iger.
Later, in 2011, Iger became a member of Apple’s board.
Jobs had a long history with Disney. In 1986, he bought the company that would become animated film powerhouse Pixar, which partnered with Disney to release a string of hit movies starting with Toy Story in 1995. By the mid-2000s, the two companies seemed to be on the verge of a major split, but Iger ended up working out a deal for Disney to buy Pixar. That deal made Jobs the largest single shareholder in the entertainment giant, a title that moved to Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, when Jobs passed away of pancreatic cancer in late 2011.