Much to my surprise, it looks like the wheels are in motion for Disney to buy Pixar Animation Studios, my colleague Ron Grover discovered last night. But what I wouldn't give to be in Pixar's Emeryville, Calif. campus this morning, as Jobs & Co. consider Disney's offer.
The reason is this: that even if Jobs likes the offer (and his is pretty much the only vote that counts, given his 50% stake), he can't like the process by which it has happening. I'm talking about the leaks. Jobs' love for secrecy is legendary. This is the guy who holds new product specs so sacred that he refuses to tell even Apple's biggest retailers about them until they're publicly disclosed. And he's the guy, or maybe it's one of his lawyers, that sued a number of the rumor sites last year. And yet sources in Hollywood, it seems clear, are leaking details of this deal like a sieve (or at least details as Disney would like them to be). If Jobs sued someone for leaking the details of a who-cares music peripheral code-named Asteroid, think of his reaction to leaks about the future of a company he's owned for twenty years. "I wouldn't be surprised if all this publicity undid the deal," a Pixar insider told me a few days ago. "He does not like seeing things played out in the press."
I'm not saying the deal won't happen. But I'd bet on this: that Disney directors, some of who are evidently concerned about how the Disney board will get along with the opinionated Jobs, have set themselves up for a first installment of the "getting-along-with-Steve" lecture series.