First, he called Jobs. The board was going to fire Amelio, he said, and it wanted Jobs to come back as CEO.
Jobs had been aggressive in deriding Amelio and pushing his own ideas about where to take Apple.
But suddenly, when offered the cup, he became coy. "I will help," he replied.
"As CEO?" Woolard asked. Jobs said no.
Woolard pushed hard for him to become at least the acting CEO. Again Jobs demurred.
"I will be an advisor," he said. "Unpaid."
He also agreed to become a board member -- that was something he had yearned for—but declined to be the board chairman.
"That's all I can give now," he said.
After rumors began circulating, he emailed a memo to Pixar employees assuring them that he was not abandoning them.
"I got a call from Apple's board of directors three weeks ago asking me to return to Apple as their CEO," he wrote.
"I declined. They then asked me to become chairman, and I again declined.
So don't worry -- the crazy rumors are just that. I have no plans to leave Pixar. You're stuck with me."