Home » Mattel Disney Pixar CARS

Disney Pixar: “The Day Our Bosses Saved Our Jobs”

Pretty hard to hate the people at Pixar* …

“(George) Lucas had brought in a guy named Doug Norby as President to bring some discipline to Lucasfilm, and as part of his efforts, Norby was pressing Catmull and Smith to do some fairly deep layoffs. The two couldn’t bring themselves to do it. Instead, Catmull tried to make a financial case for keeping his group intact, arguing that layoffs would only reduce the value of a unit that Lucasfilm could profitably sell. (I am relating this story with Craig’s permission, and he double-checked its accuracy with Catmull.) But Norby was unmoved. As Craig tells it: “He was pestering Ed and Alvy for a list of names from the Computer Division to lay off, and Ed and Alvy kept blowing him off. Finally came the order: You will be in my office tomorrow morning at 9:00 with a list of names.”

So what did these two bosses do? “They showed up in his office at 9:00 and plunked down a list,” Craig told me. “It had two names on it: Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith.”

Rest of the story at The Harvard Business Review.

* Unless you work at Dreamworks Animation 🙂

Those interested in the history of Pixar – available at Amazon.

You can check out Alvy Ray Smith’s pages on the history of Pixar including fun items such as Steve’s Jobs $5 million cashier’s check to buy Pixar …

«  »
20 January 2011 Mattel Disney Pixar CARS 13 Comments


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.