“I’m coming to Paros”
Fox’s Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos writes about friendship, the sometimes tense negotiations with iTunes and the studios, Jobs’ surprising e-mail and the legend’s last words to him.
“I’m coming to Paros.” Hearing those words was much scarier than you’d think.
During the spring and summer of 2006, Steve Jobs was negotiating with Fox and other studios to expand iTunes from selling digital music and TV shows to selling feature films. I had known Steve for several years, and as usual, he had very strong views — in this instance, about how movies on iTunes should be priced, marketed and presented to his growing base of devoted followers.
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
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?
He never made it to Paros, but we eventually made a deal, and it evolved into a great friendship, one that I will always cherish.