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Studio Chief Writes About His Friendship With Steve Jobs, Including Jobs’ Last Words of Advice When They Spoke a Few Weeks Ago

Oct 14, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A studio chief writes about his friendship and business dealings with legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs in The Hollywood Reporter.

In one revealing passage the studio chief, Fox’s Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, tells of the tough negotiations he was having with Jobs in 2006 over selling movies on iTunes:

"We argued and debated back and forth into the summer, and as August arrived, we remained a fair distance apart. So, as a respite from Relentless Steve, I sneaked off to my annual retreat on the tiny island of Antiparos, near Paros in Greece. I thought I was safe. But not from Steve. He stalked me, eventually sending this e-mail:

From: Steve Jobs
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 16:51:12 -0700
To: Jim Gianopulos
Cc: Steve Jobs
Subject: I’m coming to Paros
Jim,
We need to talk and if that’s not possible over the phone or via e-mail, then I need to come to Paros and go for a walk on the beach with you and resolve this. The time is now to begin creating a new online distribution vehicle for movies, and Apple is the company to do it. I need your help.
How do I find you once I get to the airport on Paros?
Thanks,
Steve

Gianopulos said a deal was struck and Jobs never did come to Paros.

In the piece the Fox movie co-chairman also writes what Jobs told him during their last conversation several weeks ago: "He sounded frail but was still energetic and had lots of new ideas and plans. We talked for a while about politics, music, our families and, of course, business. At one point, he said: ‘Hey, do me a favor, will you? Don’t let what happened to the music business happen to yours — keep coming up with better ways to provide people with your content.’ "

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