Walt Disney Co. shareholders are heaping praise on Robert Iger and his $7.4 billion deal to acquire Pixar Animation Studios and Steve Jobs in the process.


After all, Stanley Gold, president of Shamrock Holdings, Roy Disney's investment arm, had Jobs on his short list to run Disney during his long battle with former chief Michael Eisner.


"Bob Iger has performed superbly," said Jack Liebau, president and portfolio manager of Liebau Asset Management Co., whose $100 million in assets includes Disney shares.


But Liebau said shareholders are tossing around the idea that Jobs and Iger will have to hash out a written agreement to define Jobs' responsibilities in case of conflicts with Apple's iPod in the music sphere.


Otherwise, Jobs will have to recuse himself from making policy decisions as chief executive of both Pixar and Apple. "I give Iger credit for bringing in someone with unique insights into technology who is obviously a creative genius," Liebau said.


There's been a revolution at Disney since Iger has taken over, and one of the most telling differences with Eisner's regime will be the level of control being exerted over Pixar. Jobs will be leaving his Pixar team in place in Emeryville, Calif., and it is expected to have a certain level of free rein.


Liebau said one of the best things Iger did when he took over at Disney was to dismantle its centralized strategic planning group and get rid of Peter Murphy, a former senior executive vice president and chief strategic officer. Disney is expected to be much more welcoming of investment bankers since it scuttled its strategy planning arm.


Murphy has since teamed up with Eisner to launch a new media company.


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Ron Altoon, the force behind Altoon & Porter Architects, one of the old line firms in Los Angeles, received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service last week from the American Institute of Architects, California Council.


Altoon's work can be seen all over the city from UCLA's Arthur Ashe Health and Wellness Center to Engine Company No. 28 to the Southwestern University School of Law Library.


Though best-known for his work on retail shopping centers, Altoon's ultra-urban designs of train stations, including Buangkok Station in Singapore and the first stop on a new rail line connecting Hong Kong to Lantau Island, are pure magic.


*Staff Reporter Kate Berry can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 228, or at kberry@labusinessjournal.com .

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